Ginger Beer’s Shelf Life: Does It Expire and Go Bad?

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Ginger beer—it’s a beverage that’s a must for cocktail recipes like Moscow Mule and Dark N Stormy. But, unfortunately, it’s one refreshment that you’ll drink on its own.

Because of this, you forgot that you bought one bottle, and it’s now collecting dust at the back of your pantry—which you only found when you decided to create your favorite cocktails.

Don’t be ashamed. We’ve all been there.

And that is why we’ll help you figure out the answer to this question: Does ginger beer expire and go bad?

Short answer:

Ginger beer doesn’t expire, but it can go bad in a different way.

What do we mean by this?

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

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

Are you ready to know more about this drink? Then, let’s get this show on the road!


What is Ginger Beer?

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

Here’s The Surprising Truth:

Ginger beer 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.

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.

Fun Fact:

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

Does Ginger Beer Go Bad?

Ginger beer doesn’t expire.

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

The expiration date on the bottles is not an indication of safety but more of quality.

What do we mean by this? While ginger beer 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.

How Long Does Ginger Beer Last?

With that said, how long can you enjoy the original quality and taste of ginger beer?

With regards to unopened soft drinks, you can enjoy them at their best quality up until the printed expiration date. Additionally, unopened soft drinks are safe to be consumed for 6 to 9 months past the printed date.

On the other hand, the beverage will deteriorate faster once opened due to exposure to light and air. With that said, you can enjoy an opened bottle or can of ginger beer at its finest within 8 weeks—as long as it’s properly stored.

How to Store Ginger Beer Correctly

As implied, proper storage of ginger beer can help extend its shelf life and allow you to enjoy it at its peak quality for longer.

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

1. Keep it away from heat and light.

Oxidation and chemical reactions are the most common culprits of flavor and quality change in ginger beer.

Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you store the fermented beverage in a cool and dark place like your wine cellar (if you have one), kitchen cabinet, or pantry.

2. If it was refrigerated in the store, keep it refrigerated at home.

Always follow the storage conditions in the store where you bought it from. For example, if you got it from the shelves, it means you can store it at room temperature. But if it was refrigerated at the store, you need to keep it in your refrigerator at home as well.

3. When storing unopened soft drinks, make sure to re-cap the bottles tightly.

To prevent air exposure that causes oxidation and evaporation, it’s a must that you keep the bottles tightly sealed or re-capped.

Frequently Asked Questions

Word of Caution:

If you’re pregnant, you should talk with your doctor first before taking large amounts of ginger or drinking ginger beer…

The Bottom Line

So does ginger beer go bad? No, it can’t. However, its quality may significantly decline over time. Therefore, if you want to enjoy it at its finest quality, you should consume it before the printed date on the unopened bottle, and will remain safe within 8 weeks after it has been opened.

You can also extend its shelf life by storing it properly—away from light and heat and kept refrigerated and tightly re-capped once it has been opened.

What are you waiting for? Enjoy your ginger beer now, and make sure you store it the right way if you can’t finish them all yet.

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Up Next: Does Ginger Go Bad?

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