Beer is perishable; however, it will not spoil in the way other liquids like milk do. Beer that is past its expiration date is not unhealthy, but don’t expect it to be as delicious as fresh, unexpired beer. Here is a guide to the ins and outs of purchasing fresh beer.

Beer tends best when fresh. Only a small number of beers taste better with age. What gets beer enthusiasts excited about beer is the fresh beer flavor’s vivid brightness. Although freshness cannot make a bad beer taste great, staleness can make beer taste lame and muddled.

Beer Also Loses Aroma

There are four main enemies of beer: oxygen, heat, time and light. All beers have exposure to each of these elements to some extent and there isn’t universal defense against these. This is similar to how the flavors and aromas of ground spices can fade over time. The longer beer remains unconsumed, the more its flavor becomes dull and disappears and replaced with the light-struck beer’s aroma.

Consider the Beer’s Age

As you choose a beer from your local bottle shop, consider time first. Nine out of ten beers are said to get worse when they stay longer in the bottle. Particularly, hoppy beer loses a considerable amount of aroma, and oxygen begins to ravage the beer and make it taste like cooking sherry or cardboard. Find “bottled on” dates printed on the bottle or label. Of course, various beer are aged differently; however, generally beer tastes best in the first thirty days in a bottle.

A number of bottles may have “Enjoy by” dates rather than bottling dates. Although better than nothing, they can be deceptive since there is no indication of the length of time it has been since the bottles were filled.

Think About Temperature

Hoppy beers, for instance, are quite fragile so never purchase a bottle in a warm shelf. As far as maintaining the freshness of beer, cold is always better. Allowing beer to warm up to room temperature and cooling it down again is not the best idea in terms of beer; however, better than letting the beer stay warm.

Drinking Beer at a Pub?

It can be a bit trickier to find fresh beer on tap. You might not be able to know the date the keg was filled so you might prefer to get beer from a local brewery. To make sure you get to drink really fresh beer, go to Brutopia. Do not be afraid to ask for a beer taste on tap before getting a full pour.