How long does room temp beer last?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by CreepyCrawler, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. CreepyCrawler

    CreepyCrawler Initiate (15) Jul 12, 2019 Connecticut

    I know this may be a silly question but I found some beer (Sam Adams Summer brew and LandShark) on the shelf in my basement that I'm guessing is 2 years old. Any clue if its any good or should I just dump it?

    It's been at basement temps the entire time, never refrigerated.
    Roguer likes this.
  2. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,058) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    what is the basement temp ?
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  3. jimk1942

    jimk1942 Disciple (388) Jul 26, 2007 Pennsylvania

    No! At least cook with it.....steam some shrimp or mussels with it. On the other hand, drinking it won't (shouldn't ) make you sick. I've had some beers that probably sat around that long and could not taste any thing objectionable. The thing that really destroys beer is heat and air (oxygen). Oh yeah, and what about that German classic "Alt Bier".....! So pop one open and give it a try.
  4. NYRunner

    NYRunner Initiate (48) Nov 5, 2018 New York

    That's a good suggestion: it's so far beyond the rule of thumb of 6 months for beer and 3 months for ale that I'd be interested to know what he discovers.
  5. scream

    scream Meyvn (1,058) Dec 6, 2014 Wisconsin

    I store almost all my beer in a cool unfinished basement room. The only thing I have ever noticed is that w pale ales or ipa's the hops tend to fall off as they age. Stouts and Barley-wines etc. are just fine.
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  6. Wiffler27

    Wiffler27 Meyvn (1,272) Aug 16, 2009 New Jersey

    It won't make you sick but you will most likely notice a serious decline in flavor/aroma.
    HorseheadsHophead likes this.
  7. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,432) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    Welcome to the BA site, CreepyCrawler. The beers are certainly past their prime, but won't make you sick to drink them. I'd go with the suggestion above to boil shrimp, etc. But if you are into beer, then you can turn this into a learning experience and drink one of each to see what the effect of time can do to a beer. It would be even more interesting to go to a good beer store and get fresh versions of both beers for comparison. You may get lucky and find both beers in a single bottle section and only have to buy one of each instead of a 6-pack if you don't think either beer is worth the larger purchase.
    Junior, GetMeAnIPA, FBarber and 4 others like this.
  8. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,836) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Cool it down, pop it and see for yourself.
  9. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,785) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Well, in both cases the brewery's own request to their distributors is to pull the those beers off the retailers' shelves and destroy them after 4-6 months - 120 days > 6 months for most of Anheuser-Busch's beers (no idea on Land Shark specifically but I imagine there's a "Best By" date on it, like all AB products) and 5 months for Samuel Adam's beers, I'd say they're certainly not "good" - but they won't kill ya.

    The best "clue" is take one and drink some of it:
    If you don't find it objectionable > continue.
    If you do > drain.

    Whose thumb does that rule belong to? :thinking_face: Few brewers have different suggested shelf life periods based only on the type of yeast used for the style, and the first one I can think of offhand which does, Bell's, it's pretty much the opposite (save for the DIPA):
    #9 jesskidden, Jul 12, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  10. laketang

    laketang Meyvn (1,083) Mar 22, 2015 Illinois

    In my house only until I refrigerate it.
  11. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,487) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Except for bottle-conditioned/brett beers, beer only deteriorates from the brewer's intended fresh result. The effect of that deterioration is subjective. As someone said, hoppy beers are greatly impacted as the hop flavor falls off. Coffee beers can start tasting like green peppers. Some beers start to taste like cardboard after a few years.

    Some flavors can fade, allowing other flavors to come forward and that's why I personally like what happens to Founders CBS and Prairie Pirate Bomb/Noir with over six months of aging. So - you need to decide the effects of aging on any beer because you may like how it deteriorates while others hate it, or vice-versa.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  12. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Zealot (527) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    With what you mentioned. Do a soak and cook with it.
  13. Zorro

    Zorro Poo-Bah (4,434) Dec 25, 2003 California

    Only taste can tell.
    GetMeAnIPA, sulldaddy and scream like this.
  14. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (1,694) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Beer won't go bad at room temperature but the flavors and aromas will fade. I wouldn't recommend aging most beers under 8% for more than a few months, especially hoppy ones.
  15. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,487) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    "How long does room temp beer last?"

    If it's a BA Stout, only a few minutes in my glass. :wink:
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  16. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,184) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    Well, for that brew, I'd pour it out.

    As for the thread title question: it depends.

    I refer back to my experiment with a SN Bigfoot that clocked in anywhere between 22 and 24 years old, that had been aged that entire time on South Florida countertops. It was better than drinkable; it was good.

    I would not try that same experiment with most beers. :stuck_out_tongue:
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  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,043) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    To 're-enforce' what you are discussing here:

    There are indeed some beer styles which can benefit from aging in the bottle (e.g., Barleywines, Quads, etc.) the vast majority of beer styles are best enjoyed fresh (e.g., less than 6 months in the bottle/can).

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  18. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (803) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader


    Life's too short to drink stale really old beer.
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  19. Roguer

    Roguer Poo-Bah (4,184) Mar 25, 2013 Georgia
    Moderator Society Trader

    And even those that do benefit from aging, should typically not be aged at room temperature. Those are sub-optimal conditions, to be sure. But, it won't make them dangerous in any way, and I haven't noticed a significant negative impact from aging the kind of beers you mentioned at room temperature (although it's rare that I age anything more than a couple of years now, ever since I moved to a home without a cellar).
  20. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,785) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Yeah, but what if life is too short to take the time to drive to store and buy fresh beer? :astonished:
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  21. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,836) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I definitely agree with that, but this guys beer is two years old, I believe Jever dates their beers out 15 months. Makes one certainly wonder.
  22. surfcaster

    surfcaster Champion (803) Apr 20, 2013 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    If life is that short, well, not sure what to say--but would hate to go out on that note.:cry:
  23. Ronmarley1

    Ronmarley1 Disciple (373) Jan 20, 2014 Ohio

    When someone stops by and leaves beer I don’t particularly care for, I keep them around for cooking. As mentioned above, steamed seafood is a great use, especially crab legs. Also, when I make a pot of chili, I always toss in a beer.
    meefmoff likes this.
  24. IceAce

    IceAce Savant (905) Jan 8, 2004 California

    I’d never cook with a beer I wouldn’t drink.


  25. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,432) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    A very good point. Usually the beer imparts some flavor to the food, so consider that.
  26. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Devotee (474) Oct 28, 2010 Iowa

    I'm really afraid that the OP drank the beer and didn't make it.

    RIP, Mr Creepycrawler.
    SierraNevallagash likes this.
  27. MNAle

    MNAle Meyvn (1,475) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Depends... the alcohol is still good, so go from there! :grin:
  28. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,677) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Not that big a loss toss it out and get new stuff. Or if your not wanting to waste chill a few bottles and taste it.