Was there a brand new beer you brought in, but it didn’t go as well as you’d hope? Or your bar is currently closed due to the circumstances, and you’re worried about the stock. Unfortunately, there’s no exact science to say when exactly the beer will go bad. It can come down to a few different factors, such as the type of beer you’re working with, but there are, also, a few rules to follow. While wasting beer can feel like a stab in the heart, you might have to get rid of it. Here’s what you need to know about the shelf-life of your kegs.

How long will draft beer last in the keg?

As stated, keg-life depends on what kind of beer you’re working with. For draft beer in general, the life expectancy for pasteurized beer will last about 3 to 4 months, or 90 to 120 days. Unpasteurized draft beer is considerably shorter, only lasting about 6 to 8 weeks, or 45 to 60 days.

The life expectancy of your keg starts the day it’s filled at the brewery. Look around the keg for the date. It should be the “birth date,” meaning the day it was filled, or the expiration date. If the keg is passed the expiration date or you’re not sure whether the beer is pasteurized, throw it away.

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How long will tapped beer last in the keg?
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Tapped beer can have a considerably less life span than draft beer depending on the type of draft system you’re using. If you’re using a keg tap, picnic, or party pump, oxygen will get into the keg itself. The oxygen will cause the beer to go flat as well as expedite the aging process, so the beer only lasts 12 to 24 hours. There could be a little bit of wiggle room depending on the type of beer and the amount of oxygen used.

What temperature is ideal for the keg?

Kegs last the longest at 38℉. This is the best temperature for a fresh taste and a successful pour. Any kegs over 50℉ will not only cause a foamy pour affecting the taste of the beer, but it allows bacteria to form in the keg. On the flip side, kegs that go under 28℉ will cause the beer to freeze depending on how high the alcohol content.