Does beer go bad?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Does beer go bad?” and will show you how what aspects of beer change when it is not within the sell-by date

Does beer go bad?

Yes, beer does spoil. Beer has a roughly limited shelf life as well as a chronological rubicon that, once crossed, renders the beer utterly unpleasant, probably like almost all foodstuffs. 

Let’s  look at the two primary factors that lead to beer spoilage: oxidation and structural disintegration:


A chilled beer’s three biggest enemies are heat, light, and oxygen. Most non-microbial kinds of ageing or food are caused by oxidation. The same is true of beer. Over time, the excess O2 in the solution and the beer packaging will impair the beer’s chemical composition. 

The manufacturing and storage procedures influence how long it requires for these impacts to become detectable as off-flavours. 

Beer will age more quickly if it is canned as well as bottled with too much oxygen present. The same process occurs if a beer is stored in a heated environment or experiences temperature swings that cause oxygen to move into and out of the beverage. repeatedly.

Numerous things can happen as a result of oxidation, including the darkening of a beer’s colour, the fading of hop smells, the oxidation of the malts, and the appearance of particles.

 No matter how carefully brewed and packaged a beer could be, oxidation will still occur. You can slow this process down by storing the beer properly (cold and dark), but you cannot stop it. 

Beer flavour changes brought on by oxidation over time include some that are preferable and some that are not.


Although we rarely consider it, beer has structure. It’s a “colloidal solution,” which is best described as “a mixture with characteristics intermediate among those of a way to solve as well as a fine suspension (delicately “floating” stuff)”. 

Proteins, which are mostly derived from the malt used in the brewing process of the beer, and polyphenols, which are derived from the husk plus hops of the malt, are among these ingredients. 

When they combine, they can look for a beer with a cloudy appearance, appearing as everything from faint mist to floaters.

One may be excused for being slightly uncertain about what distinguishes “good” fog from “poor” fog given the recent tendency towards extremely turbid, occasionally opaque, and downright nasty IPAs. 

Clarity is not a positive nickel predictor of high quality or age if a specific beer is intended to appear like a filled of that. 

Lack of clarity is, however, unquestionably seen as a flaw in the great majority of beers, and “protein fog” was historically a sign of subpar production or excessive age. 

Because proteins and polyphenols mix to generate what is frequently referred to as protein “snow,” which looks like white flakes floating around in the air, oxidation can cause unmistakable haze in stale beer, particularly beer past its prime.

How can I tell whether a beer is spoiled?

Generally speaking, you should pay attention to taste and scent. These beers can have scents reminiscent of cardboard, as well as a feeling of increased sweetness, harsh bitterness, and metallic undertones. 

These beers won’t hurt you, but the tasting experience will probably suffer because they lack the original fragrance and flavour components.

What happens if you drink beer that has gone bad?

Most likely nothing. There have not yet been any incidents of beer that have gone bad that resulted in food poisoning. 

Beer’s chemical characteristics, including its high alcohol content, anaerobic environment, presence of hops, and low pH, inhibit the growth of microorganisms that can harm consumers.

However, as time passes, the alcohol may evaporate and the beer’s bactericidal properties may no longer exist. 

As a result, there is a higher potential that some undesired microorganisms will contaminate the beer and that someone could become intoxicated, especially with less complex beers.

It is extremely uncommon compared to other food products, but it can happen. As a result, it is advised to refrain from consuming products after the manufacturer’s stated expiration date.


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