Preserving some for later is our way of life. After we have had our fill, we store some for tomorrow or some other time. It is our normal. But just how long can a beer stay fresh for consumption-is the big question.
Ordinarily, beer should last for around 6-12 months from the date of manufacture. When refrigerated, however, beer is most likely to over-stay its shelf life for a period of up to 2 years after the date of manufacture. This is not to say that refrigerating changes the best-before date, it only gives our beers a much longer shelf life.
Below are some factors to consider when deciding whether a beer is safe for consumption:
- First is to have a good look at the colour/appearance from the bottle. Any changes, anything out of the usual is a red flag. Also observe any dusty settlements visible at the base of the beer.
- Secondly, take note of any seepage around the cap of the beer as such would suggest prior over-exposure to heat.
- When opening, be keen on the that refreshing psst sound that we all like to hear. Such shows that the beer is fresh and therefore safe for consumption. The absence is an indication of a “flat” beer.
- After opening a beer, watch out for the white foam rising from inside the bottle. Lack of foam is a sign that the beer has gone bad.
The above should be the first pre-cautions before tasting to ensure that your beer is in the right condition, and safe for consumption.
How to store beer:
- Keep refrigerated, especially when bought refrigerated. A constant temperature is essential for a longer shelf life.
- Store upright to prevent oxidation and contamination of the cap.
- If not refrigerated, keep in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. Sunlight facilitates a chemical process that lowers the shelf-life of the beer.
It is advisable to go for beers packed in dark bottles or cans as such block the Ultra-Violet light that degrades and breaks down the quality of beer.
So, yes, it is possible to store some beer for friends. Only that you do it right.
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