The Best Ways to Store Craft Beer for Optimum Freshness

If you’re a beer enthusiast, you know that craft beer is a delicate drink that requires proper storage to maintain its flavour and aroma. Most of us enjoy a cold beer straight from the fridge or the local pub, but storing craft beer is essential if you want to retain its taste for more than a few months. 

When it comes to beer storage, your chosen location can make or break the quality of your brew. Whether you're a beer enthusiast or a casual drinker, you want your beer to taste its best, which means storing it in the right conditions. This article will delve into the best ways to store craft beer for optimum freshness.


Temperature is the most critical factor in beer storage. The ideal temperature for storing craft beer is consistent between 5-15°C. Keeping it in a cool, dark place like a basement or a refrigerator can help maintain its freshness and flavour. However, storing it at a too-cold temperature can cause the beer to freeze and expand, potentially leading to broken bottles or cans.

On the other hand, storing it at a too-warm temperature can cause the beer to spoil quickly. Higher temperatures accelerate the chemical reactions that cause the beer to deteriorate. It's best to avoid storing craft beer in places like garages or attics, where temperatures can fluctuate widely.

Light Exposure

Light is another critical factor that can affect the quality of beer. Exposure to light, especially sunlight, can cause the beer to become "skunky." This is because the hops in the beer react with the UV light, producing a compound that gives the beer a foul smell and taste. To avoid this, store your craft beer in a dark place, away from direct sunlight.

Some craft beer comes in coloured bottles or cans, which can help protect it from UV rays. Brown bottles are the most common, but green and amber bottles can also be effective. However, it's still best to keep it in a dark place just to be safe.

Humidity Levels and Airflow

Adequate humidity levels are essential in preventing your beer from becoming dry or developing off flavours. If the air is too dry, it can cause the beer to lose its carbonation and flavour, while high humidity can cause mould growth. It can also cause the labels to peel off and the cardboard packaging to become soggy, potentially contaminating the beer inside. Low humidity, on the other hand, can cause the beer to oxidise, leading to a stale taste.

It's best to store craft beer in a place with moderate humidity levels, around 50-70%. This will help keep the labels intact and prevent the beer from becoming stale or contaminated.

Moreover, proper airflow is necessary to allow you to monitor the temperature and avoid funky smells that can develop when air is stagnant. Protect your beer from airflow, and ensure it is stored away from any potential sources of strong odours. This can include anything from food to cleaning supplies.


Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the freshness and flavour of craft beer. By keeping it at the right temperature, away from light, and in a place with moderate humidity levels, you can ensure that your beer stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible. So the next time you stock up on your favourite craft brews, make sure to store them properly!

Proper Storage Techniques

Beer is a delicate beverage that requires proper storage to maintain quality and taste. This guide will explore some of the best techniques for storing beer to ensure it stays fresh and delicious.

Storing Bottles and Cans

There are a few key things to remember when storing beer in bottles or cans. Firstly, beer should always be stored upright, whether it is in a bottle or can. This minimises the beer's contact with the air and prevents oxidation, which can cause the beer to spoil. When storing bottles, keep them in a cool, dry, and dark place, away from light.

If you're stacking your beer bottles, ensure they are stable so they don't roll and break. It's also a good idea to keep them away from heat sources, such as radiators or direct sunlight, as this can cause the beer to spoil more quickly.

Using a Dedicated Beer Fridge

If you're a serious beer enthusiast, a wise investment is a dedicated beer fridge. This allows you to control the temperature and humidity levels, ensuring your beer stays fresh for longer. A beer fridge is ideal if you plan to keep beer for a long time, and it can also serve as an impressive display area for your collection.

When using a beer fridge, setting the temperature correctly is essential. Most beer fridges have a temperature range of 2-8°C, ideal for storing most beer styles. However, if you're storing a specific type of beer, such as a Belgian ale or a sour beer, you may need to adjust the temperature accordingly.

Cellaring Craft Beer

Cellaring beer refers to storing it at a constant temperature. This technique is usually reserved for beer styles that can benefit from ageing, such as barley wines, stouts, and sour beers. Storing these beers over months or even years allows the flavours to develop and mature, resulting in a more complex and nuanced taste.

When cellaring beer, it's important to choose the right location. A cool, dark place like a cellar or a basement is ideal. You should also ensure that the beer is stored upright and away from light sources. It's also a good idea to check on your beer periodically to ensure it's still in good condition.

By following these storage techniques, you can ensure your beer stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible. Proper storage is vital to enjoying the best possible taste and quality, whether you're a casual beer drinker or a serious enthusiast.

How to Store Opened Craft Beer

There's nothing quite like cracking open a cold craft beer after a long day, but what do you do if you can't finish the entire bottle in one sitting? Fear not, we've got you covered on the best ways to store opened craft beer.

Resealing Opened Bottles

Opened beer not consumed immediately should be resealed as soon as possible to stop oxygen from entering and causing oxidation. This can lead to a stale and unpleasant taste. One of the easiest ways to reseal an opened bottle is to use the original cap. However, if you have lost the cap or it is damaged, a wine cork can help prevent oxidation. Simply push the cork into the opening until it fits snugly.

Storing Growlers and Crowlers

Growlers and crowlers are usually filled fresh from the tap, and once opened, the beer will start to lose its carbonation. The best way to store these is to keep them in the fridge and consume them within 24-48 hours. If you plan to store them for a longer period, consider investing in a growler or crowler cap that will help maintain carbonation.

It's also important to note that not all beers are suitable for growlers or crowlers. Beers that are highly carbonated or have a high ABV may not be the best choice, as they can cause the container to expand and potentially explode.

Extending the Life of Opened Beer

If you want to extend the lifespan of opened beer, place it in the fridge and consume it as soon as possible. Keep in mind that once the beer is opened, it will start to lose its flavour and aroma. However, you can do a few things to help preserve the taste.

Firstly, try to limit the amount of time the beer is exposed to air. This means resealing the bottle or using a wine cork as soon as possible. Secondly, store the beer in a cool, dark place. Exposure to heat and light can cause the beer to spoil more quickly.

Finally, consider using a vacuum sealer to remove as much air as possible from the bottle before resealing it. This will help prevent oxidation and keep the beer fresher for longer.

So there you have it, some top tips on how to store opened craft beer. Now you can enjoy your favourite brews without worrying about them going bad!

Recognising Signs of Spoilage

Beer is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages in the world, enjoyed by millions of people every day. However, like any other perishable food item, beer can go bad over time, and it's crucial to recognise the signs of spoilage to avoid any negative drinking experiences.

Off Flavours and Aromas

One of the most significant spoilage indicators is a change in the beer's flavour and aroma. If your beer smells or tastes sour, soapy, rotten egg-like, medicinal, or vinegary, it may indicate it's gone off. These off-flavours and aromas can occur due to bacterial contamination, oxidation, or exposure to light and heat.

It's essential to note that some beer styles, such as sour beers, are intentionally brewed to have a sour taste and aroma. Therefore, knowing the type of beer you're drinking and its expected flavour and aroma profile is crucial before determining whether it's gone off.

Changes in Appearance

Another indication of spoilage is a change in the appearance of the beer. If you notice changes in colour, haziness, or sediment at the bottom, it could be a sign that the beer is past its prime. For example, if you're drinking an IPA that has turned brown or cloudy, it clearly indicates that it's gone bad.

It's worth noting that some beer styles, such as unfiltered beers, naturally have sediment at the bottom, and it's not an indicator of spoilage. However, if you notice a significant increase in sediment or an unusual appearance, it's best to err on the side of caution and discard the beer.

When to Discard Spoiled Beer

It's best to discard spoiled beer as consuming it can cause foodborne illnesses or lead to a negative beer-drinking experience. Don't try to salvage the beer if you notice any of the above signs. Beer is a perishable item, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.

However, if you're unsure whether your beer has gone bad, you can perform a simple taste and smell test. Take a small sip of the beer and smell it. If it smells off, don't drink it. If it smells okay, take a small sip and taste it. If it tastes fine, you can continue drinking it. But, if you notice any off-flavours or aromas, discard the beer immediately.

Tips for Enjoying Your Stored Craft Beer

Did you know pairing craft beer with food can enhance your dining experience? Here are some of our top tips for enjoying your stored craft beer!

Serving Temperature Guidelines

Serving your beer at the correct temperature is important to truly appreciate its unique flavours and aromas. While some beers are best-served ice cold, others are better enjoyed at a slightly warmer temperature. Consult with the brewer or beer label for the recommended serving temperature.

Pairing Craft Beer with Food

Beer isn't just a refreshing beverage to enjoy on its own - it can also be a fantastic accompaniment to food. Experiment with pairing different types of craft beer with your favourite dishes to enhance their flavour profiles and create a truly memorable dining experience.

For example, a hoppy IPA pairs well with spicy foods, while a rich, malty beer like a brown ale is perfect for pairing with grilled meats. And don't forget dessert - a dark, chocolatey stout can complement a sweet treat perfectly.

Sharing and Tasting Stored Beers

If you're a true craft beer enthusiast, chances are you have a collection of stored beers waiting to be enjoyed. Why not invite some friends over for a beer-tasting event? It's a fun and exciting way to share your collection and compare flavours and notes.

Set up a tasting station with glasses, tasting notes, and some snacks to cleanse your palate between sips. Encourage your guests to share their thoughts and opinions on each beer, and don't be afraid to let bold and creative with your pairings.

So go ahead, crack open that bottle you've been saving and enjoy it to the fullest. With these tips for serving, pairing, and sharing your craft beer, you will surely have an unforgettable experience.


Proper storage is essential to enjoy your craft beer to the fullest. The key takeaway here is to store your beer at a cool and consistent temperature, protect it from light and humidity, and avoid airflow. Storing your craft beer properly can expand its lifespan, maintain its quality, protect its flavour, and make sure your beer is the best it can be every time you crack open a bottle or can.

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