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Q: "Shelf Life of Beer in Cans" ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: "Shelf Life of Beer in Cans"
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: benchmark-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 05 Sep 2003 12:18 PDT
Expires: 05 Oct 2003 12:18 PDT
Question ID: 252659
I need to know how long beer in cans be be safely drunk.  I tried
questions about shelf life on the regular net but was unsuccessful.
Subject: Re: "Shelf Life of Beer in Cans"
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 05 Sep 2003 14:02 PDT
Hello Benchmark,  

According to the Miller Brewing Co. canned beer has a shelf life of 4

“Miller says the resealable 16- and 20-ounce bottles offer the same
four-month shelf life as glass bottles and aluminum cans and stay cold
as long as glass and longer than cans. The plastic bottles are
one-seventh the weight of comparably sized glass bottles and can be

Real Beer


According to Obolon brewery canned beer has a shelf life of 90 days. 

“Kyiv's Obolon brewery is to start selling beer in cans as well as
bottles beginning on November 27. The brewery will use a German-built
beer-canning production line. The quality of canned beer will be
identical to that of bottled beer, Obolon's technical control
department head Vasyl Mikusevych promised. The canned beer will have a
shelf life of 90 days. (Eastern Economist)

UKR Weekly


According to an article in the Russia Business Journal canned beer has
a shelf life of 12 months.

Breweries bid to win drinkers over to cans
Patrick Gill
6 Jul 2001

“While canned beer has a shelf life of 12 months, this figure is six
months for glass bottles and just four months for plastic containers.”

This article is 644 words long. You must register and pay to read the
complete article.


“Canned beer has the longest shelf-life, but it may take on a slightly
metallic taste if stored for an extended period.”

“Bottled beer should be consumed within three months at the most, as
its flavor and color may be impaired during storage by the action of

“Draft beers have the shortest storage life. They should be consumed
within a maximum of one month.”

Transport Information Service


110 days

“Some people have the misguided impression that beer has the shelf
life of plutonium, but that’s not the case.”

Canned beer fares better than bottled beer in the heat and sun since
cans block the light, but even canned beer will succumb to heat.

“Too much light over too much time gives beer a skunky aroma. Heat
changes internal compounds in the beer and affects its flavor and

According to Budweiser’s web site, their beer is guaranteed good for
110 days from the “born on” date on the bottom of the can, assuming
ideal conditions, which translates to cool, dark storage. I suspect
that, like other beers, the best time to drink a Bud is somewhere in
the mid-range of that 110-day curve.

The Cavern of Fermented Delights by Jim “Dr. Fermento” Roberts
August 17 - 23, 2000 / Vol. 9, Ed. 33


From Beer Dies the independent consumer guide to beer product dating:

Domestic U.S. beers have a shelf life of 120 days or 4 months.

Many foreign breweries claim their products have a 1 year shelf life.
(Foreign breweries often add extra sulfites as a preservative.)
Cans are nigh-universally stamped on the bottom of the can. Remember
to turn the can over before opening it. The person sitting next to you
will thank you for it.


Three months

“Another concern for the new beverage can was its shelf life. Even
small amounts of dissolved tin or iron from the can could impair the
drinking quality of both beer and soft drinks. Fortunately beer, which
is only mildly acidic, is relatively non-corrosive. In addition, beer
ages naturally so it has a limited shelf life of about three months in
any package.

Additional information that may interest you

Beer best in glass

“According to an investigation made by the British company Brewing
Research International (BRI), glass bottles are more suitable for
maintaining the aroma of beer than metal cans. The company claims that
tests have revealed that both the shelf life of canned beer and its
resistance to changes in taste are worse than beer in bottles. The
reason for this is said to be the higher oxygen level during the
packaging process for canned beer. It is also reported that taste
stability is influenced not only by anti-oxidant agents and the hop
formulation but also by oxygen, which gives the beer a metallic, woody
or earthy taste.”


Here’s an interesting article from the Beverage Testing Institute:
Beer - A perishable product

What is the shelf life of bottled and kegged beer? 

“For bottled beer that has been pasteurized (Bud, Miller, Heineken,
etc.) it is actually 90 days, but they recommend that it be pulled
within 60 days. 

Kegged beers are usually unpasteurized and its shelf-life is 30 days.

Unfiltered, unpasteurized bottled beers (Bottle-Conditioned) have a
shelf life of up to five years in the right conditions.”

What Ales You


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I hope this helps. If anything is unclear please request clarification
and I'll be glad to offer further assistance before you rate my

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