Does Ginger Beer Go Bad? Can It Expire? (How To Tell For Sure!)

img of ginger beer shelf life, expiration date, and storage tips

Ginger beer is a fantastic drink, perfect for spicing up cocktails like Moscow Mule and Dark N Stormy or enjoying on its own as a refreshing beverage. But what happens when you forget about that one bottle tucked away in your pantry? No worries, we’ve all been there.Today, we’ll answer a common question: Does ginger beer go bad?

The Quick Answer Is No, Ginger beer doesn’t really expire, but it can change a bit over time.

What do we mean by this?

In the following few sections, we’ll share more of what you need to know, so keep reading.

Here are some other topics we’ll also talk about:

Are you ready to know more about this drink? Then, Let’s dive in and learn all you need to know about this drink and how long it lasts.

Before discussing shelf life, let’s understand what ginger beer is all about.

What is It Exactly?

Because it has the word beer and is a common ingredient in cocktails like the Moscow Mule and Dark N Stormy, most people think this beverage contains alcohol.

Here’s the surprising truth: this is a non-alcoholic beverage that contains four ingredients: yeast, sugar, water, and prepared ginger spice.

It’s produced when all the ingredients undergo the natural fermentation process. The soft drink is then carbonated and bottled afterward. This beverage is characterized by a spicy, aromatic, and robust flavor.

Thanks to its flavor and carbonation, it has become a great addition to sparkling mocktails and cocktails.

Fun Fact:

Traditional ginger beer originated in England in the late 1800s. At that time, it contained alcohol–as much as 11% abv! (*)

Instead of brewed, the commercial ginger beers that you’ll find today are manufactured and come with flavor and color additives.

The good news is most homebrewers still take the time to brew ginger beer using a colony of yeast and a bacteria (Lactobacillus) called the ginger beer plant. Because of this, most homebrewed ginger beers contain up to 0.5% alcohol.  

Now, let’s uncover the mystery of expiration dates.

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Does Ginger Beer Go Bad?

Although ginger beer doesn’t technically have an expiration date, those dates on the bottles tell you more about quality than safety. Over time, the taste and quality of ginger beer can change due to exposure to air and other chemical reactions.

But wait, why do the glass bottles have an expiration date or expiry date? That’s a good question.

Here’s the catch: The expiration date on the bottles is not an indication of safety but more of quality.

What do we mean by this? While this drink doesn’t expire, it can go bad in the sense that its quality will deteriorate over time due to oxidation and other chemical reactions.

How fast its quality declines will vary depending on two factors. These are as follows:

  • How well it’s stored
  • Whether it’s unopened or opened.

Now that we know it doesn’t expire let’s talk about how long it stays at its best.

How Long Does Ginger Beer Last?

Unopened ginger beer can maintain its peak quality until the printed expiration date. Even after that, it’s safe to enjoy for about 6 to 9 months.

Once you crack open that bottle, the clock starts ticking as exposure to light and air affects the flavor. To savor the best taste, it’s recommended to finish an opened bottle within 8 weeks, as long as you store it properly.

Storing Ginger Beer the Right Way

As implied, properly storing ginger beer can help extend its shelf life and allow you to enjoy it at the peak quality for longer.

With that said, how should you store your beverage? Here are some of the tips that we’d like to share with you:

  • Keep it cool and dark: Store your drink away from heat and light to prevent flavor changes caused by air and chemical reactions. A kitchen cabinet or pantry works just fine.
  • If it’s refrigerated in the store, keep it in the fridge at home too: Follow the store’s lead: if you bought drink from a refrigerated section, keep it chilled at home.
  • Seal it tight after opening: Avoid oxidation and evaporation by re-capping the bottle tightly once you’ve opened it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Addressing common queries:

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The Bottom Line

Ginger beer doesn’t technically expire, but its taste might change over time. Enjoy the best experience before the printed date on an unopened bottle and within 8 weeks after opening. Remember these storage tips to keep it fresh and savor every drop of this delightful drink.

Now, treat yourself to some gingerbeer; if you can’t finish it all, store it right. Cheers!

Up Next: The Ultimate Guide To Delicious GingerBeer Cocktail Recipes

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