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Food Storage - How long can you keep...

BEER, REGULAR OR LIGHT, BOTTLES OR CANS - UNOPENED

Pantry
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4-6 months (best quality)
Refrigerator
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6-8 months (best quality)

Tips

  • How long does unopened beer last? The precise answer to the question depends to a large extent on storage conditions - store unopened cans or bottles of beer in cool, dark area.
  • To extend the shelf life of unopened beer, keep unopened beer away from direct sources of heat or light; too much exposure to light can cause unopened beer to develop a foul taste.
  • Should you store beer at room temperature or in the fridge? To maximize the shelf life of unopened beer, store the beer at a temperature between 45° F and 55° F (colder than the typical room temperature, but warmer than a refrigerator) - if this is not possible, store the unopened beer in the refrigerator.
  • How long does unopened beer last at room temperature? Properly stored, unopened beer will generally stay at best quality for about 4 to 6 months when stored at room temperature, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
  • How long does unopened beer last in the fridge? Properly stored, unopened beer will generally stay at best quality for about 6 to 8 months in the refrigerator, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
  • Is unopened beer safe to drink after the "expiration" date on the package? Yes, provided it is properly stored and the package is undamaged - commercially packaged unopened beer will typically carry a " Best By," "Best if Used By," "Best Before", or "Best When Used By" date but this is not a safety date, it is the manufacturer's estimate of how long the unopened beer will remain at peak quality.
  • Storage times shown are for best quality only - after that, the unopened beer's color or flavor may change, but in most cases, it will still be safe to consume if it has been stored properly.
  • How to tell if unopened beer is bad? If unopened beer develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, it should be discarded for quality purposes.
  • Unopened beer made by some micro-breweries may not retain peak quality as long as unopened beer from major breweries.

Sources: For details about data sources used for food storage information, please click here

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