Do you want to hear a fun fact about beer? It’s the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage. No wonder it is called the nectar of the gods and has been around for centuries. Beer was first brewed in the Stone Age and has been enjoyed by many cultures ever since.
Unfortunately, even though beer is a great beverage, it can quickly spoil if not stored correctly. Unlike wine, beer is highly perishable and can spoil quickly if not stored properly.
There are vital steps to ensure that your beer maintains its freshness and doesn’t become tainted or skunked. Here is an ultimate guide for storing beer, so you can enjoy it for as long as possible:
Store Beer in a Cool and Dark Place
The ideal temperature for storing beer is between 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit. Storing your beer in a cool, dark place such as a basement or cellar is usually the best way to ensure it doesn’t spoil. It needs to be a place that does not have any drastic temperature changes, either.
Ideally, the humidity should also be between 50-70%, but the temperature is more critical. It is recommended that you use beverage coolers for storing beer, as they are designed to keep the bottles at a consistent temperature. They also help keep out light, which can negatively affect the flavor of your beer.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Just because you enjoy a cold beer by the beach doesn’t mean it’s good for the beer. Direct sunlight can have a damaging effect on your beer, as UV light will cause it to become skunky and unpleasant tasting. If you are transporting beer in the car or storing it at home, make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight at any point.
If you drink beer outdoors, it is best to keep it in a cooler or an opaque container. You can make a DIY cooler out of a cardboard box, but make sure it is lined with something reflective, such as foil, to keep out the sun.
Avoid Heat Sources
Beer is meant to be cooled down, not heated up. You must ensure that your beer is far from any heat sources, such as radiators or stoves. Heat will cause the beer to go flat and taste off, and nobody wants that!
Also, avoid placing your beer in a refrigerator next to a heating element. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when storing beer at home. Not only will it cause the beer to go flat, but it also increases the chance of contamination. Keeping the temperatures consistent is critical, so ensure your beer is away from any heat sources.
Store Beer Upright
Storing beer upright is essential for a few reasons. This is because it keeps the liquid away from the cap and helps to prevent oxidation. Storing your beer upright also prevents any sediment from settling at the bottom of the bottle, which can affect the flavor of your beer.
Lastly, by keeping your beers upright, you can quickly identify any ‘off’ flavors or signs of contamination. If you notice any strange smells or tastes, then it is best to discard the beer as soon as possible.
If the beer is in beer cans, it is best to keep them upright to prevent any leakage or contamination.
Properly Sealed Containers
You must keep all foods and beverages in airtight containers if you want them to last as long as possible. Beer is no exception, so ensure that the bottles or cans are properly sealed and free from leaks.
Exposure to air can cause the beer to become stale and skunky, so you want to ensure that your beer is kept in an airtight container. Mold spores and bacteria can also enter the container if it has holes or cracks, so check your containers regularly.
Buy in Small Batches
If you are a regular beer drinker, then it might be a good idea to buy or brew your beers in small batches. This way, you can keep the beer fresh and enjoy it while it’s still cold and refreshing. Buying in bulk is great if you want to save money, but the beer won’t stay as fresh as when it was first purchased.
It is also a good idea to rotate your stock regularly so that you always drink the freshest beer possible. This will ensure you enjoy the best possible flavor and avoid unpleasant surprises.
Keep Track of Expiry Dates
The expiry date can be printed on the bottle or can, so check this before purchasing your beer. This will give you a rough idea of how long it should last and when it is best to drink it.
Always watch for changes in taste or smell, as these can be signs that the beer has gone bad. If you notice anything off, then it is best to discard the beer and buy new stuff.
Ideally, it would be best if you aimed to drink most beer within six months of purchase, as this is when it will taste its best. After this time, the quality will start declining, so stay on top of your expiry dates.
Consider Pasteurized Beer
Finally, one way to help make your beer last longer is to consider buying beer that is pasteurized. This is a unique process where the beer is heated to a specific temperature to kill off any bacteria or yeast that could cause it to spoil.
Pasteurization can significantly extend beer’s shelf life and is often used by commercial breweries. However, it can also affect the beer’s flavor and make it less enjoyable to drink, so this is something to keep in mind. Pasteurization kills yeast, the main ingredient in most beers, so it may not be the best choice for those looking to experience the full range of flavors.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to keeping your beer fresh and ensuring that it lasts as long as possible. Make sure to store your beer away from any heat sources, keep it upright, buy in small batches, keep track of expiry dates and consider pasteurization if you want the longest shelf life.