Don’t Drink Skunky Beer. Follow These Four Rules

If you drank as much beer as I have, you have had a skunky or old testing beer.  Beer doesn’t last forever guys. Men’s Health posted this article.  I suggest you do you and your friends a favor, and follow them!
Or, a more simple way, drink all your bet when you buy it. But that might just be me.


Photo by Thinkstock

Follow these few basic storing rules to keep your beer tasting fresh

BY MARKHAM HEID Thursday, December 31, 2015, 10:31 am

It’s tempting to polish off a six-pack of beer as soon as you buy it. In fact, that’s what you should technically do, according to experts. 

The longer beer sits around, the more it tends to lose its smell and flavor—in that order, says Matt Simpson, a certified beer sommelier who taught a “Beer 101” course at Emory University. 

This is especially true for hoppy craft beers with heavy aromas, like IPAs, Simpson says. 

But what if you don’t want to down your booze right away? Follow these four rules to keep beer staying fresh for months.

Rule #1: Natural Light Is Your Beer’s Worst Enemy

Beer contains hops, a species of plant that infuses your brew with delicious scents and hints of bitterness. 

When ultraviolet rays strike your beer, they interact with acidic hop compounds called humulones to create a nasty chemical reaction, Simpson says. 

This produces a noxious chemical similar to the stuff a skunk sprays when it’s frightened. “There’s a reason people refer to bad beer as ‘skunked,’” he says. 

The more prolonged the UV blast, the greater the unwanted skunking, Simpson says. Just a half hour spent outside in direct sunlight is going to hurt your beer. 

But even if you store your brew in a basement or pantry, light streaming in through a nearby window could also affect its flavor, he says.

The best way to avoid this reaction is to buy beer in cans, which shield light entirely. But if you’d like to buy a bottled brew, make sure it’s in brown glass. That type filters out UV light and protects your beer better than green or—worst of all—clear bottles, Simpson says. 

Rule #2: Temperature Matters, Too

The colder you keep your beer, the longer it will stay fresh, Simpson says. But beer can stand up to modest temperature swings. 

“If you buy cold beer and stick it in your basement, or if you chill a bunch for a party and then let it warm up again, that’s not going to ruin it,” he says. 

The real threat is long-term exposure to high temperatures. “We’re talking leaving a case of beer in your car or an outdoor shed—where it could heat up to 100 degrees,” says Simpson. 

Even a single day of those conditions could make your beer go stale quickly, he says. But it still won’t have the skunky taste that results from light contamination. 

“It’ll just taste like cardboard.” 

Rule #3: Make Room in Your Fridge   

If you want to prevent exposure to natural light and keep your beer cool, your refrigerator is the single best place to stash your beer, Simpson says. 

The colder the fridge—ideally, 34 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit—the longer your beer will stay fresh, he says. 

But you don’t have to refrigerate all beers. Macro lagers—light, American-style beers like Budweiser, Miller Light, and Coors—will last months or even a year if you keep them out of sunlight in a cool place, like a basement or closet, he says. 

“These beers don’t have much flavor to begin with, so you’re not going to notice a difference if you store them for a while,” says Simpson. 

That’s because these brews are made with far less hops, yeast, or other “traditional” ingredients found in large quantities in craft beers, he adds.

For craft beers like pale ales and IPAs, use this basic rule of thumb: The lower the alcohol content, the faster the brew will go stale, Simpson says. 

Drink these beers before macros—or at least give them first dibs in your fridge. 

Rule #4: Know Which Beers You Can Store for Years

Then there are the beers that actually improve with age. “Some big, chewy, high-alcohol beers like imperial stouts, barley wines, or lambics can stand up to cellaring,” Simpson says. 

But these beers must be unfiltered or in bottle condition—designations you’ll often see listed on the label. “That means there’s some active yeast still present, which will slowly eat away at the beer and allow it to age well,” he says. 

If you don’t see these terms on the label, you can find the info in reviews on sites like     

Like wine, you should store beers in a dark space, at a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees. “After 3 to 5 years, the resulting oxidation can lead to more round, melded, creamy notes,” says Simpson. 

New layers of complexity—flavors of dark or dried fruit, sherry, leather, or chocolate—can also emerge after several years, he says.  

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