Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Lydia Martin
We like to stock up on hard seltzers, so we can always grab one whenever we feel like drinking to feel refreshed. But how long does a hard seltzer last?
As this trendy beverage gains popularity, we want to share how long hard seltzer lasts to avoid disappointments and potential health risks.
Also, we’ll delve into the factors that impact a particular hard seltzer’s longevity to give valuable insights for connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. Keep reading!
How Long Do Hard Seltzers Really Last?
Typically, hard seltzers have a shelf life of about one year from the manufacturing date, but this can vary based on the brand and ingredients used.
Although hard seltzers remain safe to drink (for 6-9 months) beyond their production date, their taste and freshness may be affected.
“I think [hard seltzer’s] proven to have staying power. I think it’s proven that it’s a large, sizable, and stable category.” – Dave Burwick, Boston Beer CEO
We suggest checking the date and storing them properly for maximum freshness.
Hard Seltzer’s Life Span
Once opened and refrigerated, a hard seltzer maintains its freshness and carbonation for about one (1) to two (2) days. After this period, you’ll notice that your particular hard seltzer has a flat taste and has begun to lose carbonation.
At Room Temperature
When you store the hard seltzer at room temperature after opening, the hard seltzer’s condition starts to decline more rapidly. Hard seltzer can be good to drink within the day to ensure its optimal freshness, flavor, and carbonation.
When refrigerated, unopened hard seltzer can maintain its condition for up to 12 months from the date of manufacture.
Proper storage of the seltzer at a cool temperature ensures flavor retention and carbonation, offering an enjoyable seltzer experience throughout its shelf life.
At Room Temperature
When you store hard seltzer at room temperature, sealed hard seltzer has a shorter shelf life than refrigerated.
Store the store hard seltzer in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain its flavor and carbonation. This will ensure a delightful hard seltzer experience even after an extended period.
Seltzer can typically maintain its condition for around six (6) to nine (9) months from the date of manufacture. So we recommend consuming it within the suggested period for the best quality and enjoyable drinking experience.
Do Hard Seltzers Expire?
Yes, hard seltzers may expire, and some famous brands, like White Claw hard seltzer, expire after a year from their manufacturing date.
Hard seltzers, created by blending seltzer with a spirit base fermented sugar (or alcoholic base from starchy water) and fermenting sugar water, undergo a fermentation process similar to beer .
This process creates fizz and alcohol content, resulting in a refreshing beverage.
While hard seltzers may come with an above expiration date or best-enjoyed-by date, it can be safe to drink six (6) to nine (9) months past its expiration date.
However, like beer, seltzer flavors may start to get flat, and once exposed to oxygen, the fizz of this carbonated drink quickly declines, giving a less enjoyable experience.
Find out who makes Kirkland hard seltzers here.
Does Hard Seltzer Have Expiration Dates?
Yes, hard seltzer drinks often have their own expiration date printed on cans or bottles. Although alcohol acts as a preservative, there is still a recommended period for its optimal quality and freshness.
How Long Are They Good After Best By Date?
A hard seltzer can still be good for (6) up to nine (9) months after the expiration date. However, like most carbonated drinks, there may be less fizz as carbon dioxide escapes from the bottle or can.
“Fizz fades, flavor wanes; savor while seltzer’s refreshing reign remains.” – Liquor Laboratory
They’re generally good to drink for several months beyond the date, but the taste may be less enjoyable.
How Long Hard Seltzer Lasts In Your System
Hard seltzer can last in your system for one (1) – two (2) hours after consumption. But this varies based on some factors, like your metabolism and alcohol tolerance.
The one-two-hour period is the average period for the alcohol content of the seltzer to be fully metabolized and leave your system. But how many White Claw hard seltzers can get you drunk?
How Do You Tell If It Has Gone Bad?
To tell if hard seltzer has gone bad, pay attention to its taste, smell, and appearance. If it smells sour or vinegary, tastes weird or off-putting, or shows a darker, cloudy color, it’s likely past its prime.
Hard seltzer stored beyond a few months may also be unsafe to drink. So, we suggest discarding it or getting a fresh one if in doubt to prevent stomach upset or alcohol poisoning.
What Happens If You Drink An Expired Hard Seltzer?
Consuming an expired or over-stored hard seltzer can be risky as it may contain harmful bacteria, causing food poisoning symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Moreover, its flavor can turn the taste sour or off, and fizz can diminish. Always check the expiration date and throw any expired hard seltzer  to avoid getting sick from food poisoning and ensure safety.
Storage Tips To Maximize Its Shelf Life
- Refrigerate this flavored beverage seltzer after opening, and as much as possible, consume it after two weeks
- Store hard seltzer away from strong-smelling items and other food with easily perishable nature
- Keep the hard seltzer in an airtight container to preserve its freshness and flavors.
- Keep the hard seltzer in a cool, dry place, at around 40-45°F so that it won’t expire quickly.
Can you drink expired hard seltzer?
No, it’s not recommended to drink expired hard seltzer due to potential health hazards and diminished flavor and quality.
Does hard seltzer go bad after opening?
Yes, hard seltzer may go bad after opening, first targeting the flavor and carbonation. It’s always best to consume it within a few days.
What should you do with expired hard seltzers?
Discard an expired hard seltzer beverage for safety reasons and get a fresh one for an enjoyable drink experience.
Do hard seltzers go bad when they get warm?
Yes, hard seltzers can go bad if they get warm, as higher temperatures can accelerate spoilage and affect their fizz and freshness.
Hard seltzer does not have a definite expiration date, but generally, it can be good one year after its manufacturing date and six (6) – nine (9) months after its “best-by” date (if any).
Hard seltzer stored properly and suitably – refrigerated or in a cool, dry place, away from the sunlight – can have a longer shelf life.
Like beer, we highly recommend consuming any hard seltzer according to the recommended consumption period. It is also better to drink hard seltzer immediately after opening.