Does Beer Go Bad In The Fridge? Here’s What You Need To Know

By Bobby Rock •  Updated: 01/23/23 •  7 min read

You’ve just popped open a cold one and you’re wondering if the beer is still good – or has it gone bad in your fridge?

Beer can last for quite some time when stored properly, but there are certain factors that affect its shelf life.

In this article, we’ll discuss how long beer stays fresh in the refrigerator and what signs to look out for to know when it’s no longer safe to drink.

So grab a glass, and let’s learn more about keeping beer fresh!

Does Beer Go Bad In The Fridge?

What are the signs of Bad Beer?

Foul Aroma:

Bad beer often smells unpleasant, usually with a skunky or metallic odor. It might also have notes of vinegar or other off-putting aromas that don’t belong in beer.

Flat Taste:

Beer should be carbonated, so if it tastes flat and lifeless on the tongue, it can indicate something is amiss with the brew. If your beer lacks flavor when you take a sip then it could mean there’s been an issue during production.

Cloudy Appearance:

Good beer is generally crystal clear both before and after head formation, but some styles (such as wheat beers) are naturally hazy due to their unique ingredients. However, if your beer appears cloudy without any natural reason for doing so then this may suggest that it has gone bad from poor handling conditions such as incorrect storage temperatures or extended time since bottling/kegging date.

Off Flavors:

Some off-flavors in bad beer include sourness (sometimes resembling vinegar), butteriness (diacetyl), cardboard-like taste (oxidation), sweetness (acetaldehyde) or even metal undertones – all of which should not be present in freshly brewed craft beers!

How long can beer be stored in a fridge?

Beer can be stored in a fridge for up to six months, depending on the type and quality of beer.

When storing beer in a fridge, you should always ensure that it is kept at an even temperature. Too-hot temperatures can cause the beer to spoil prematurely, while too-cold conditions can reduce its flavor. A fridge set at 38°F (3°C) will keep your beers tasting their best.

You should also make sure that your beer is stored away from any direct light or heat sources. This will help prevent skunking, which occurs when sunlight breaks down the compounds in hops and causes an unpleasant smell and taste to develop over time.

Finally, it’s important to remember that stale beer has a shorter shelf life than fresh beer. If you plan on keeping your beers over two months old, you may want to look into buying bottles with extended shelf lives instead.

Overall, if you take the proper steps towards storing your beers in a fridge properly, they should last up to two months without compromising taste or quality.

Should beer be refrigerated or stored at room temperature?

The debate of whether beer should be refrigerated or stored at room temperature has been ongoing for many years. It all boils down to the quality of how your beer will taste when you drink it, and what type of beer you’re drinking.

Refrigerating Beer

Refrigeration also slows down the aging process so these types of beers can be enjoyed longer after purchasing them from a store. As an added bonus if served directly out of the fridge most people find these types more refreshing than warm ones.

Storing Beer at Room Temperature

These dark malt-forward brews tend to get more complex over time due to oxidation happening within the bottle itself while sitting out on shelves or countertops in warmer temperatures like those found inside homes.

This makes them perfect candidates for cellaring since their age-ability increases significantly during storage without refrigeration – allowing drinkers access delicious notes not found when freshly bottled!

The ideal storage temperature for beer largely depends on the type of beer being stored. Generally, lagers and pilsners can be stored at cold temperatures, between 35-45°F (1.6-7°C).

This allows them to maintain their crisp, clean flavors without any noticeable changes or degradation in taste. Conversely, ales are best kept at slightly warmer temperatures – between 45-55°F (7-12.8°C) – as they tend to have more complexity in flavor that can become muted if cooled too far below this range.

When storing beer it is also important to consider light exposure and humidity levels; both should be minimized when possible as they can cause alterations in flavor or oxidation over time.

Additionally, beers with higher alcohol content or those aged longer will benefit from being stored at colder temperatures than those previously mentioned – closer to 30°F (-1°C).

This helps ensure the quality of these beers remains consistent over time while preserving the delicate balance of ingredients brewers worked hard to create!

How does light impact the taste of beer?

Light can have a major impact on the taste of beer. It’s an often overlooked element that contributes to the overall flavor and experience of craft beer.

For starters, light affects how certain compounds in hops are experienced by the drinker. Certain hop-derived terpenes, such as myrcene and citral, break down easily when exposed to light which results in less flavor from these specific compounds in beers stored at room temperature or higher for long periods of time.

This is why brewers store their cold beers: it helps preserve those flavorful elements throughout the product’s life cycle.

Light also plays a role in oxidation which can cause undesirable flavors like cardboard or wet paper notes due to reactions with different molecules within beer.

Beer packaged in clear bottles (or other transparent containers) will be more prone to oxidation because it’s not protected from UV rays like amber glass would be; this is one reason why we see many craft breweries opt for cans instead of traditional bottles- they better protect against light exposure so there are fewer off flavors present upon consumption.

Additionally, oxygen reacts quickly with some compounds inside beer, resulting in skunked aromas and flavors due to 3-methylbutanal formation; this chemical reaction happens even faster under direct sunlight or other sources of UV radiation making dark packaging essential if you want your beer’s flavor profile to remain intact over time!

Are there any benefits to aging beer in a refrigerator?

Yes, aging beer in a refrigerator can provide some great benefits. Refrigeration slows down the chemical reactions that occur in the beer as it ages. This allows for more controlled and consistent taste profiles over time.

The cooler temperatures also help reduce oxidation, preventing off-flavors from developing or becoming too intense.

Additionally, refrigerated beer will last longer than unrefrigerated beer because of its reduced exposure to oxygen and light.

Aging beer in a refrigerator also helps maintain clarity. As beers age they tend to become cloudier due to yeast interactions with proteins and other compounds found in the liquid.

By keeping beers cool these reactions are slowed down significantly, preventing them from getting cloudy too quickly.

This is especially important for certain styles of lagers that rely on their clear appearance when served cold; those same styles can lose much of their appeal if left out at room temperature for too long.

Bobby Rock