Beer’s organic ingredients that give it its distinctive aroma and flavor deteriorate when exposed to light, oxygen, and heat, making the beverage a perishable good. However, it may still be safe to consume even if its taste has diminished. Take a look at this for complete details.
IS IT SAFE TO DRINK EXPIRED BEER?
Since most beer is pasteurized or filtered to remove microorganisms, the short answer is that it has a very long shelf life. It remains to be seen how tasty the beer actually is.
WHAT DOES EXPIRED BEER TASTE LIKE?
We got together with Grant Wood, senior brewing manager at the Boston Beer Company, to compare the flavor of a brand new lager to that of a year-old lager. (Beers typically have a “drink by” date four to six months in the future since that’s how long the brewer estimates it will stay fresh.) There was a huge disparity: Most tasters agreed that the one-year-old bottle was malty, sugary, and flat, in contrast to the new lager’s bold hops flavor and refreshing bitterness. When we performed the experiment with a bottle that had been stored in the basement for a number of years, the distinction became much more evident.
WHY DOES BEER GO BAD?
Wood suggests a dual mechanism for this. At the outset, hops’ aromatic and flavorful components oxidize and disappear over time due to the presence of oxygen in beer. (On the other hand, the presence of sweet sherry-like aromas is a result of the accumulation of particular aromatic chemicals during aging.) Second, the beer’s alcohol content and the conditions of storage affect the rate at which these reactions take place. Beer that has been refrigerated will last longer than beer that has been sitting on a shelf. Higher alcohol content beers last longer in the bottle.