Does Craft Beer Expire?


The one Question that I get asked more than any other about brewing beer and the delicious concoctions that follow is does the craft beer expire? The answer to this question is a bit less clear than the question itself. Yes, craft beer can go bad after a period of time, but there isn’t exactly an “expiration date”. If you highly value fresh hop flavor this is of maximum importance for you! High alcohol beers tend to age better in general, but the rule of thumb remains that the beer will be constantly changing. Some flavors will become more apparent and some will fade away.


Always Changing

As soon as a craft beer leaves the brewery the beer begins a slow gradual change process even in optimal storage. A typical craft beer will last about a year before the taste starts to go bad under optimal storage conditions similar to wine storage. Of course, this assumes the beer was stored properly, in harsh conditions relative to the beer it won’t last nearly as long. Don’t leave a 6 pack in your truck for a year and hope that it will still be exactly the same. Some craft brews are brewed for maximum fresh in-your-face flavor and as such should be enjoyed in a very short timeframe.

Short Expiration Window Brews

Puréed tangerines were added to the batch to create a devastatingly fresh IPA with a tang of tangerine. The flavors yielded by this addition to the recipe meld beautifully with the bitterness of the hops. True to this series, Stone Enjoy By Tangerine IPA is brewed specifically NOT to last, and should be enjoyed within 37 days. via STONE

Stone Brewing’s Enjoy By series is a great example of a short expiration date craft brew. I can’t tell you how excited I am for the release of the Tangerine IPA next week! The only downside is in order to get the taste intended by the brewer, it must be consumed in 37 days or less. In this case, 5.30.16 is part of the name of the brew and as such it is very clear when to drink the last of them by.

Follow me on twitter @Tanner_Brews for more on Craft Beer!


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