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Bad Beer

MA of Reader:

I have a cabin in Julian that has a collection of nine bottles of beer in the fridge. Two Budweisers were left over from a housewarming party in April of '04, two Heinekens came from my mother-in-law's, etc. I don't drink, but I keep them there to offer to guests. But then I began to wonder. Does beer go bad? How long does beer last?

-- LB of Poway

Some European brewers take pride in how their specially blended stouts and ales age like fine wines. Three-year-old Budweiser will taste like feet. Standard beer in a can, continuously refrigerated, is drinkable for six months. A year at most, depending on how it's been brewed. Bottles are more unstable, from light infiltration. Beer is full of hops and grains and is actually pretty fragile. (But unlike ketchup, I don't think beer has made it onto the FDA's list of vegetables.) Even the slightest traces of air and bacteria in the package will eventually kill it. And unless you want to be completely friendless, I'd pitch that old brew.

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MA of Reader:

I have a cabin in Julian that has a collection of nine bottles of beer in the fridge. Two Budweisers were left over from a housewarming party in April of '04, two Heinekens came from my mother-in-law's, etc. I don't drink, but I keep them there to offer to guests. But then I began to wonder. Does beer go bad? How long does beer last?

-- LB of Poway

Some European brewers take pride in how their specially blended stouts and ales age like fine wines. Three-year-old Budweiser will taste like feet. Standard beer in a can, continuously refrigerated, is drinkable for six months. A year at most, depending on how it's been brewed. Bottles are more unstable, from light infiltration. Beer is full of hops and grains and is actually pretty fragile. (But unlike ketchup, I don't think beer has made it onto the FDA's list of vegetables.) Even the slightest traces of air and bacteria in the package will eventually kill it. And unless you want to be completely friendless, I'd pitch that old brew.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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