As long as it is sealed, you can drink canned craft beer years or even decades after it is made. But to say that expired beer is a little misleading, it doesn't really become unsafe to drink it, it just starts to taste unattractive or flat. To help you answer questions about how long your beer lasts, here is a short guide that answers your main questions. Kept in a dark and cold place, such as a fridge, bottled beer will last up to 6 months.
Stored hot bottled beer can spoil in as little as 3 months. In general, you can expect an artisanal brew to last six to nine months in the pantry and six months to two years in the refrigerator. However, some craft brewers will tell you that this is too long. Most craft beer comes with an “expiration date” that indicates the time frame when it is freshest and best tasting. You can't store your beer in the freezer safely for a long time, as a can and bottle of beer explode at low temperatures.
While beer bottles are excellent containers for beer, their transparency presents a drawback by allowing light to react with beer. While growlers have a long history, microbreweries that don't pack their beer have turned the growler into a popular beer container. The length of time the beer will remain in good condition after the best before date decreases if the beer is not stored properly. Because craft beer has grown in popularity, it's often available from growlers or crowlers that you can buy at your favorite brewery. In the end, the ice crystals of a frozen beer will make the consistency of the beer a little flaky and with a high concentration of alcohol. Bottled craft beers have a higher risk of oxygen exposure than canned beers, and storing them upright is a great way to minimize contact with air.
Under the best conditions, you can expect bottled beers to hold up well, but you should drink them within three to six months. Just sign in with your Google, Facebook or Twitter account and fill out a quick form to share the latest and greatest with craft beer fans across the country.