Over time, the oxygen inside each bottle, can, or keg changes the beer. This is called “oxidation” and is responsible for a variety of flavors. Some beers will develop a rancid taste, similar to cardboard, accompanied by a note of sherry. The alcohol content of beer also acts as a natural preservative, because microbes cannot survive in liquids with a high alcohol content.
Whether you're planning a Corona drenched backyard barbecue or want to keep your favorite craft beer from local microbreweries fresh, understanding how to store beer is the first step to enjoying it. A German Eisbock is made by freezing beer on purpose and removing the ice to leave a beer with a higher alcohol content. Beer is extremely durable; you don't need a special wine fridge or a space in the basement, just a cupboard or cupboard will do. The short answer is that yes, beer does go bad, but it can last a long time under proper storage conditions.
Like any food, beer is an organic substance, meaning that it is made of plant materials that will eventually succumb to decay, just like all living things. As a general rule, it's best to store beers in an upright position for an extended period of time, as this minimizes the amount of beer in contact with the air (rather than placing them on their side, maximizing exposure to air). As you can see, good beer is affected by all kinds of elements, such as temperature, sunlight, the storage container, and more. The ideal temperature in the cellar to age beer is between 50 and 60 degrees, although you can choose warmer or colder temperatures.
If enough pressure builds up to loosen the lid of the bottled beer, air leaks could cause the beer to be deflated when opened. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, and many beer lovers enjoy exploring the flavors of a carefully aged beer. When UV light penetrates beer bottles, it reacts with one of the chemical compounds in hops, the plant material responsible for the best complex flavors in your favorite beer. A short period of exposure to the sun is unlikely to hurt, even if you prefer light, summery beers in clear bottles.
Because oxidation is due to an air leak, bottled beers may be slightly more susceptible to this problem than cans, which have a more airtight seal. The best examples of well-aged beer are less intense but more complex than their fresh counterparts. Freezing would also be disastrous for bottled beer with live yeast, since the cold would kill the yeast and stop its continued flavor development.