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How Long Does Beer Last In A Keg? Answered (2024)

How Long Does Beer Last in a Keg

A mug of cold beer from a keg is an amazing refreshment after a long exhausting day—the fresher the beer from the keg, the greater its taste.

But did you ever wonder how long does beer last in a keg? Keep on reading to find out the truth.

How Long Does Beer Last In A Keg?

2 beer kegs

Non-Pasteurized Beer

Non-pasteurized beer is a live beer that contains living microorganisms such as yeast. It can last around six to eight weeks or 45 to 60 days in a keg with a proper temperature. 

The countdown begins after it is first filled in the keg at the brewery and not when you tap it or buy it.

Pasteurized Beer

Pasteurized or draft beer could last about three to four months or 90 to 120 days.

If you’re unsure if you bought a pasteurized beer or not, it is best to treat it like an unpasteurized beer to make sure of the freshness of the beer. Check out the difference between draft beer and craft beer here.

Do Beer Kegs Need To Be Refrigerated?

filling a beer on a glass


Most tapped keg lasts about 12 to 24 hours because of the oxygen exposure inside the beer. But how long does beer last in the refrigerator?

It would be best if you finished the beer at that time before it started to spoil. After that period, the beer won’t taste as good even if it is refrigerated.


The untapped keg needs to be refrigerated, mainly when it is unpasteurized.

Temperature is one of the most significant factors in maintaining the quality of the beer. 

Never let the untapped keg stay at room temperature or leave it above 38 degrees to maintain its freshness and prevent it from spoiling.

Does Beer In A Keg Go Bad?

Yes, beer in the keg will go bad, especially when it is not stored properly. The beer in the keg has gone bad if it has a bad smell, like sulfuric or skunky. 

Its taste can also be a tell-tale sign of whether it has gone bad or not. Be wary if the beer tastes too cloudy or foamy; it has already gone bad. Lastly, it has gone bad if it has a foul and off taste.

Factors That Affect Its Freshness

Storage Temperature 

Storing a beer keg at a right and constant temperature will make it last for a long time. Most kegs should be stored, not lower or higher than 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, regardless of your keg storage, maintaining the right temperature is a huge factor in keeping your beer keg fresh.

How You Dispense Beer

Keg using a Party Pump

Picnic Pump Or Party Pump

Picnic or party pumps are on-the-go pumps for dispensing beer, perfect for outdoor parties or events. It is easy to use a pump that comes in very handy. 

However, these manual pumps pump air (oxygen) into the keg to dispense, which can negatively affect the quality and taste of the beer. Also, over-pumping of the beer keg might lead to foamy beer.

Keg Tap

Keg taps are similar to picnic and party pumps which works via hand pump. Many people use a manual or faucet dispensing system like a keg tap because these are easy to assemble. 

This manual pump doesn’t last long like party pumps because oxygen is being pushed through the keg.

Kegerator with CO2

Kegerators with CO2 or keg refrigerators are most often used for keg storage. Many bars and restaurants love the storage cabinet feature of these keg refrigerators. 

It not just only prevents oxygen from the beer but also maintains the ideal temperature for every specific beer.

Read: Number of Beers To Get Drunk

Oxygen & Pressure

Maintaining pressure can greatly affect a beer keg’s freshness. A beer contains carbon dioxide that creates fizz and bubbles [1], while oxygen could cause the beer to spoil quickly. A tight pressure could also keep oxygen out of the beer. 

Also, when maintaining good pressure, make sure to minimize its motion. Otherwise, it might cause too much foam.


What temperature should you store your beer keg?

A temperature of 38°F is recommended to maintain a balanced temperature for the beer keg.
You don’t want to store it in too hot or too cold temperatures because each can negatively affect the beer. But how much is a keg of beer?

Does keg beer go bad if it gets warm?

Yes, a keg of beer goes bad if it gets warm. If it continues to rise above 38°F up to 55°F, it might spoil the beer and result in cloudy beer.
The high temperature could release the carbonation from the beer, which might cause some foaming issues.

How long does beer last in a keg before it goes bad?

Beer in a keg can last for several weeks to a few months, depending on factors like the type of beer, storage conditions, and how well the keg is sealed.

Does the type of beer affect how long it lasts in a keg?

Yes, the type of beer can impact its shelf life in a keg. Beers with higher alcohol content or those that are pasteurized tend to last longer than lighter, unpasteurized beers.

What affects the shelf life of beer in a keg? 

Factors such as temperature, exposure to light, and the presence of oxygen can affect the shelf life of beer in a keg. Keeping the keg chilled and sealed properly can help preserve the beer’s freshness.

How should I store a keg to maximize its shelf life? 

Store the keg in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. Keep the keg upright and avoid shaking or moving it unnecessarily.

Can I drink beer from a keg past its expiration date? 

While beer from a keg can technically be consumed past its expiration date, the flavor and quality may deteriorate over time. It’s best to check the beer for any off-putting odors or flavors before serving.

Does carbonation affect how long beer lasts in a keg? 

Yes, carbonation plays a role in preserving the freshness of beer in a keg. Beers with higher carbonation levels tend to retain their quality and flavor for longer periods.

Can I extend the shelf life of beer in a keg by keeping it refrigerated? 

Yes, refrigerating the keg can help slow down the aging process and preserve the beer’s freshness. Aim to keep the keg at a consistent temperature of around 38-40°F (3-4°C).

How can I tell if beer in a keg has gone bad? 

Signs of spoiled beer may include a sour or off-putting odor, a cloudy appearance, or an unusual taste. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the beer.

What’s the best way to dispense beer from a keg to ensure its longevity?

Use a clean and properly maintained draft system to dispense beer from the keg. Avoid exposing the beer to excessive air or contaminants during dispensing to help preserve its quality.

Final Verdict

A beer keg could last longer with the right storage temperature and pressure.

Maintaining a constant 38°F and keeping your keg away from oxygen can preserve the optimal quality of the beer in the keg.  


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