Can you drink out of date beer 2 years?

The short answer is that you can technically drink beer that is 2 years past its expiration date, but the quality and taste will likely be compromised. Beer does usually have a ‘best before’ date stamped on the bottle or can, but this is more of a guideline than a hard rule about when the beer will go completely bad. With proper storage, unopened beer can often last 6 months to 1 year beyond its expiration date before the taste becomes noticeably ‘off’. However, 2 years is really pushing the limit of drinkability for most beers. Ultimately, smelling and tasting the beer is the best way to determine if an out of date beer is still palatable enough to drink.

Does beer go bad?

Yes, beer does eventually go bad, but it generally takes quite a long time under proper conditions. The main reasons beer goes bad are oxidation and lack of carbonation. Oxidation causes beer to develop unpleasant cardboard or stale flavors as oxygen reacts with compounds in the beer over time. Lack of carbonation results in a flat, unappealing mouthfeel.

The best before date on beer gives an estimate of when the brewer believes the optimal flavors and carbonation levels will start to degrade. However, beer is still safe to drink for a while after that date, though the taste and quality go down.

How long does beer last after the expiry date?

Beer can often last up to a year past its expiration date if it is unopened and stored properly. Once opened, the shelf life for beer is much shorter – around 3 to 5 days in the fridge is a good guideline.

Here are some general guidelines for how long different types of beer last after the printed date:

– Pasteurized beer (most major brands):
– Unopened: 6-12 months
– Opened: 3-5 days

– Unpasteurized craft beer:
– Unopened: 2-4 months
– Opened: 1-2 days

– High ABV beer (>8% alcohol):
– Unopened: 1-2 years
– Opened: 6 months

– Low ABV beer (<4.5% alcohol): - Unopened: 4-6 months - Opened: 2-3 days Obviously, these timelines can vary quite a bit based on storage conditions and the specific brand/style of beer. Tasting is the best way to determine quality.

Will beer make you sick after the expiry date?

Generally, beer that is a few months past its expiration date is unlikely to make you sick. Alcohol has antimicrobial properties that make it difficult for harmful pathogens like bacteria to grow and thrive.

However, once beers gets to be 1-2 years old, there is an increased risk of it containing high levels of oxidation products, wild yeasts or molds – especially if the seal was broken or the storage conditions were less than ideal. Consuming very old, expired beer may cause some digestive upset like nausea, bloating or diarrhea in some individuals. But serious illness is not very likely.

As always, your safest bet is to inspect and smell the beer before drinking. If the beer smells cheesy, sour or spoiled in obvious ways, it is best to discard it rather than drinking. Trust your senses.

What happens if you drink expired beer?

Here is what you can expect if you drink beer that is past its expiration date:

– 1-3 months past date – Beer may taste stale or have muted flavors, but unlikely to cause illness. Head retention may suffer.

– 6 months past date – Noticeable cardboard or oxidized flavors. The hop bitterness and aroma will decline. Carbonation may be diminished. Still generally safe to consume.

– 1+ years past date – Beer will have clearly deteriorated in terms of flavor, aroma and mouthfeel. The taste may come across as unpleasantly musty or stale. Higher risk of upset stomach, but not guaranteed.

– 2+ years past date – At this point, the beer is clearly in undrinkable territory for most people. Severely degraded taste and carbonation. Risk of stomach issues increases due to chemical changes and potential mold. Would not recommend drinking.

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and some beer styles hold up better over time than others. For example, high ABV beers have more longevity. But no matter what, beer that is more than 3 years past its date should be avoided.

Can expired beer make you drunk?

Yes, out of date beer will still have alcohol intact, so it can make you drunk if consumed. However, the alcohol content may slightly diminish over time as some of the alcohol oxidizes and turns into acetic acid or is consumed by any microbial growth in the beer. But not enough to make a major impact.

A beer that is 2 years old could still have around 90% of the original alcohol content, whereas a 5 year old beer may be closer to 80%. So you can generally assume a very old expired beer still packs a lot of alcoholic punch. Drink in moderation as you would with any alcoholic beverage.

Of course, the off flavors and poor taste of an aged beer may make drinking large quantities rather unappealing anyway. But don’t underestimate the alcohol potency just because it is past the expiration date. Immediately discard any beers that fizz up or hiss upon opening, as that can be a sign of continued fermentation and exploding bottles.

How to tell if expired beer is still good?

Here are some tips for assessing the quality of beer that is past its date:

– Examine the bottle/can for any bulging, cracks or rust that could indicate the seal has been compromised

– Pop the cap and listen for any odd hissing sounds

– Smell the beer – it should smell pleasantly malty or hoppy, not cheesy, sour or rancid

– Look at the color – has it noticeably darkened or taken on a cloudy hue?

– Take a small sip – what is the carbonation like? How does it taste? Stale, cardboard and acidic flavors are bad signs.

– Assess the head retention by pouring into a glass – the foam should last for a bit

– Consider how it was stored – poorly stored warm beer deteriorates faster

– Be extra cautious with any low-alcohol or unpasteurized craft beers

Trust your senses. If anything seems off about the beer’s taste, smell or appearance compared to a fresh sample, it is best to avoid drinking it. When in doubt, pour it out.

Can you still drink light beer after expiration date?

You may be able to drink light beer for a short period after its printed expiration date, but it will deteriorate faster than full strength beer. Most light beers have an alcohol content around 4-5%, which means they lack the robust antimicrobial properties of full strength beers. This causes them to spoil and develop off flavors more rapidly.

An unopened light beer stored in cool, dark conditions may retain decent taste up to 3-4 months past the printed date. However, 1 year old is really pushing it. Once opened, light beer should be discarded within 2-3 days.

Always inspect the beer carefully and sip a small sample before drinking large quantities. Look for any sourness, bitterness, or a metallic taste as signs it may be spoiled. If the beer seems fine, it is likely ok for consumption within a few months of the date. But expect the taste to be compromised compared to a fresh beer. When in doubt, pour it out.

Tips for prolonging shelf life of beer

Here are some tips for maximizing the freshness window of your beer:

– Store unopened beer in a cool, dark place between 55-75°F

– Avoid letting beer get hot, like leaving it in a hot garage or car

– Keep beer away from sources of light, which causes “skunky” flavors

– Store beer upright to keep the crown cap or bottle cap moist and air-tight

– Put opened beer in the fridge and drink within 3-5 days

– Never freeze beer as this can cause haze and texture issues from ice crystals forming

– Choose styles known for longevity like high ABV beers or smoky/malty styles

– Buy smaller 4/6 packs instead of large cases to minimize time until finished

– Avoid seriously old-vintage beers unless you plan to intentionally age them

– Don’t buy more beer than you can realistically drink before it expires

Following these best practices allows you to maximize your chances of enjoying beer while it’s fresh, delicious, and carbonated. But a little planning goes a long way towards preventing having to toss expired beer.

Will expired beer give you diarrhea?

Consuming very old, expired beer does come with an increased risk of digestive issues like diarrhea. There are a few reasons out of date beer could cause diarrhea:

– Oxidation – Cardboard flavored oxidation byproducts can irritate the digestive tract.

– Bacteria growth – Wild yeasts or bacteria may colonize flat, old beer. Some bacteria species produce gases or toxins that cause diarrhea.

– Chemical changes – Diminished alcohol and hop acids allow growth of harmful bugs.

– pH changes – Vinegar-like acetic acid forms, lowering the pH. High acidity can upset the gut.

– Poor hygiene – Old beer often tastes so bad people drink it quickly. Rapid drinking can also cause diarrhea.

Generally though, having a sip or drink of beer that is a few months past its prime is very unlikely to cause diarrhea in an otherwise healthy adult. But a beer that is clearly rancid or more than 2 years expired poses significantly higher risks of food borne illness if consumed. Listen to your senses.

Can expired beer make you sick?

Technically yes, consuming very old, expired beer could potentially make you sick. However, it’s unlikely drinking moderately outdated beer that is less than 6 months past date would cause illness in most people.

Some ways old beer may cause sickness include:

– Upset stomach from oxidized compounds and acidic pH

– Increased alcohol content if wild yeast continued fermenting the beer

– Food poisoning if harmful bacteria colonized the beer

– Allergic reaction if mold grew inside the bottle

– Vomiting if flavors repulse you, causing rapid drinking to finish

So while old beer probably won’t seriously harm a healthy adult having a few sips, severe illness is possible if the beer reached advanced stages of spoilage. Again, just use common sense – if the beer smells or tastes clearly funky or spoiled, err on the side of caution and don’t drink it. Trust your senses.


While it’s certainly not recommended due to the degraded quality, most people can probably get away with drinking beer that is up to 1 year past its expiration date as long as it was properly stored. Once you get to the 2 year mark, expect the beer to be quite nasty and come with increased risks of stomach issues or illness if consumed.

The takeaways around drinking expired beer:

– Inspect carefully for off aromas, colors, and carbonation

– Expired light beer deteriorates faster than full strength beer when old

– Drink in moderation and stop if you sense something is off

– Ideally, try to finish beer while still fresh for best flavor

– When in doubt, toss it out! Beer is cheap, food poisoning is not.

Trust your senses, use common sense, and enjoy your beer before it hits its expiration whenever possible. While you may technically be able to drink very old beer without getting sick, that doesn’t mean you should.

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