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** Can Beer Go Bad? **

Aug 15, 2011 4:16 pm

When beer ages, you get skunky suds or tasty gold

By Chantal Martineau

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beer expiration date
Photo: erokCom on Flickr
Rule of thumb: Canned beer doesn't age well.

In this era of food-safety mania, there is one perishable no one speaks of.
Yes, beer can go bad. Fortunately, it usually gets drunk before it can
turn. But if you’ve ever cracked open a bottle that somehow managed to
languish at the back of your fridge for a few months too many, then you
know the horror of skunky suds.

So, how does one avoid such a fate? We consulted David Cichowicz, the
founder of craft beer shop-slash-bar Good Beer NYC in NYC's East Village,
to find out.

“With hoppy beer — like wheat beer, lager, IPAs — you notice the
flavor starts to drop out after three to six months,” he says. “With
some very fragile IPAs, I wouldn’t go longer than three, to be safe.”

It’s a limited window, especially when you consider how hard it is to
figure out when the three to six months starts. For some reason, breweries
use highly undecipherable codes to identify the sell-by date on their
bottles. Cichowicz recommends Googling these if you’re really worried
about your beer being past its prime.

“It’s difficult to see it on the bottle, because it’s usually printed
in black on brown glass,” he explains. “It’s usually a pull date,
which means you have to take it off


does beer go bad

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