Can You Drink Expired Beer?

Expired Beer

Most people who drink beer would never think it had an expiration date. Beer companies do their best to make their products in a way that will last the longest once in the consumer’s hands, but everything has an expiration date or a used-by date. If you want to enjoy the same quality of the product, you should adhere to the expiration date. 

However, that does not always mean you must follow the expiration date to an exact point. The date on the beer or any product is more of a suggestion. If proper preservation methods get followed, a product can last for some time after the printed expiration date. So technically, you could drink beer that you see is expired. 

But if those methods do not get done correctly, products such as beer may only last a few months after the expiration date. However, this is not much concern to most beer drinkers as most people who buy beer drink it all within a reasonable time. 

Below we will speak about beer, its expiration date, and if it is safe or not to consume beer after its expiration date. 

Does beer expire if not opened?

Beer will expire whether opened or closed, but it will last long after the printed expiration date if left closed. If the beer is left open, the beer will become exposed to oxygen which, if left unchecked for a sufficient amount of time, will lead to the organic compounds within the beer going bad quicker. The beer will lose its desired smell and taste with these compounds going rancid. 

This same process can also occur if the beer gets placed in a hot environment for an extended period. That is why beer you are recommended to keep beer in a cold climate for as long as possible. So the best way to keep your beer after it is expired is closed and in a cold environment.

Can expired beer make you sick?

Expired beer will not make you sick if drunk. The only thing you should expect when you drink a beer past is the expiration date; if not properly preserved, the flavor will disappear. So it will be unsatisfying but not toxic to the user. Some users may find the taste of stale beer satisfactory, but this is case-by-case.  

How long can you drink beer after the expiration date?

A beer can last six to nine months if left closed and stored at room temperature. While beer is closed and left in the refrigerator, it can last up to two years. After this point, the beer becomes stale in flavor and has an undesirable smell but is technically still consumable. So if you can handle the taste or like the stale beer taste, you can drink it however long after the expiration date you wish to drink it. 

However, you should have a personal cut-off period. You may understand now that beer is not toxic to drink after its expiration date, but you may want to place a time when you would not drink it any longer. The number is up to you, whether that is six months or five years. 

Is expired beer stronger?

No, as the prior section stated, the longer beer stays beyond its expiration date, the more of its flavor it will lose. Eventually, like crackers, the beer will eventually become stale and not taste the same as before. Some people may be okay with the taste, but most will find it disgusting. 

Storing beer is a common practice amongst some people, as the alcohol content will not change over time. Although only a few beers are able to be stored and “aged” with the hope of the new product being better than the original, it is still possible. It often takes on the same practice of storing wine. 

Over time alcohol can “age,” developing this distinct flavor different from the original. As we mentioned before, drinking expired beer does not mean it is toxic. It just means it is stale yet still drinkable. 

This stale flavor, over a certain amount of years, can begin to morph further and reach a desired flavor by the owner. This morph, however, can only take place if, again, the beers are stored properly. It can be a similar process to how you would store wine, as properly kept cellars and the right temperature needs to adhere to at all times. 

This environment will promote the metamorphosis of the content and, thus, the evolution of the beer’s taste. But again, what may taste appealing and satisfactory to the owner could be disgusting to others who try beer. 

What to do with expired beer

While expired beer is no longer drinkable to most people, the ingredients within the beer still hold some value. So if you have expired beer, instead of simply throwing them away, here are some interesting ideas on what to do with it.

  1. Clean wooden household items – With the natural qualities that make up beer, if you pour it on a cloth, mix it with water, and a little white vinegar, it becomes a quality cleaning tool for wooden products.
  2. Remove rust – Although not completely perfect, the beer’s carbonation can help remove rust. It is as simple as just pouring the beer onto the rusted item and watching as some rust begins to melt away. 
  3. Marinate meat before cooking – Beer marination is a helpful tool in lowering the carcinogenic levels of grilled meat. Poke holes in the meat, store it in a compact container, and marinate it in the beer for one night; then, it will be ready to cook. 
  4. Use it to kill insects – most insects are attracted to sugary products, and beer is full of sugar. Simply pour them into a small container and place them throughout the house, both inside and out. After a while, the insects, such as cockroaches, fruit flies, etc., will begin to migrate to the beer, and before they realize what is going on, they will have drowned in the beer. 
  5. Use as a hair care product – Adding beer into your hair cleaning routine can provide you with vitamin b. However, you do not simply pour the beer onto your head. First, boil the beer until about 25 percent of the liquid is left. Then, once it is no longer hot, you will mix it with your shampoo and wash your hair like normal. This combination will leave your hair looking thicker and shinier than it would have been if you simply used shampoo. 
  6. Promote a healthy lawn – Beer possesses both carbohydrates and nitrogen, two essential chemicals to help with plant nutrition. Not only that, but it contains acids that help to kill parasites and bugs. This method differs from when insects are drawn to the beer by the smell; upon contact with the bugs, the acids kill them. All three of the resources found in beer can help improve black spots in a lawn caused by bugs who borrow underground or simply sites that are not growing adequately. 

These are just a few ideas to consider when dealing with expired beer. Others include cleaning stains on the carpet or making barbeque sauce. Then, of course, you can simply dispose of the beer, but with the component that makes up the beer, there are many possibilities. So think about using your beer for any of these reasons if the taste and smell are not something you can handle. 

Expired beer FAQ

Can you drink beer one month out of date?

If the beer is one month past the expiration date it is ok to drink it and it will most likely still be good.

Can you drink beer six months out of date?

If the beer is closed and properly refrigerated, it will still be okay to drink after six months.

Can you drink a 1-year-old beer?

With proper preservation methods followed, you can still drink a beer that is one year past its expiration date.

Can you drink two years old beer?

By two years, you should start being concerned about the quality of the beer. Of course, beer is still healthy to drink after two years, but even with proper preservation methods, you will notice a taste in flavor from the beer by this point.

Can you drink 3-year-old beer?

After three years, it is no longer advisable to drink beer. However, not dangerous to your health, the beer will no longer be satisfying to drink. Therefore, it should be appropriately disposed of or used in one of the alternative uses mentioned in the prior section. 

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