Liquor Laboratory

How Long Does Mike’s Hard Lemonade Last? Freshness Guide (2023)

How Long Does Mike's Hard Lemonade Last

Last Updated on October 25, 2023 by Lydia Martin

It’s common for people to forget about an alcoholic drink they’ve stashed away, perhaps during a hectic day or while on vacation.

The extensive collection of alcoholic beverages made me sometimes lose track of some bottles and cans.

So what happens when you return to find an opened Mike’s Hard Lemonade left behind?

How long does Mike’s Hard Lemonade last, and is it still safe to consume it after a few years?

How Long Will Mike’s Hard Lemonade Last?

Bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade

Mike’s Hard Lemonade lasts within a year after its production if it is in a dry and cool, dark place. If you’re living in a really hot place during summer, storing your Mike’s in a fridge would be better.

“As consumers adopt healthier habits, better-for-you beverage alcohol options, including low- and no-alcohol options, are gaining traction.” – Scott Scanlon, Executive VP, IRI’s Beverage Alcohol Vertical

Mike’s Hard Lemonade is among the top-selling flavored malt beverage brands in 2022, with over $300 million in sales [1].

The processing of flavored malt beverages includes eliminating typical beer characteristics such as flavorings, colorings, and malt. But what alcohol is in Mike’s Hard Lemonade?

Mike’s Hard Lemonade Shelf Life

Unopened

An unopened Mike’s Hard Lemonade won’t expire if you have it in the right condition and place. But as you see, Mike’s Hard Lemonade comes in clear containers, exposing the drink to direct light.

It contributes to flavor and quality decline in the long run, so if you’re not planning to consume it right away, you can choose the canned version.

Or you can keep the bottled drink, at least, in the refrigerator to maintain its carbonation longer. But how long will Coors Light last?

Opened

If your Mike’s Hard Lemonade has been opened but not consumed immediately, we suggest you consume it within the next day. Unless you enjoy flat alcoholic beverages, you don’t have to worry about it.

However, even unopened Mike’s can lose its quality if exposed to excessive light or heat.

So keep your Mike’s in a mini-fridge to suspend them in frigid temperatures and avoid direct light exposures.

Does It Have An Expiration Date?

Bottle and a Glasses of Mike's Hard Lemonade

Mike’s Hard Lemonade has no expiration date, but the best time to drink the beverage is within the year. As mentioned, an unopened Mike’s stored improperly can still spoil quickly.

It’s common knowledge that alcoholic drinks, like wine, whiskey, or even bottle-conditioned Lambic beer, get better over time.

But unlike these beverages that develop and enhance flavors as they age, fruit-forward malt beverages only develop an off taste over time.

How Do You Know If Mike’s Hard Lemonade Is Expired?

You would know that an old Mike’s Hard Lemonade is already expired (or has already gone bad) if the smell, color, and taste are already off.

If you check and find that the color is already darker (brown or green) and not bright anymore, it must indicate the bacteria’s presence.

If you’re still unsure, you can smell the drink and then taste a bit of it to confirm if the quality has already gone bad.

Personally, I would often go straight to tasting a drink to know if it has become duller, especially if it does not taste like lemons or sugar anymore. But do you know what’s the best hard seltzer?

Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s Batch Code

Man Dinking Mike's Hard Lemonade

Mike’s Hard Lemonade has a batch code in every bottle’s neck or can’s bottom, indicating the production of the drink. It also helps us identify the shelf-life of the drink or the estimated time it remains in its prime condition.

“Mike’s Hard Lemonade was once vodka-based but is now a malt beverage, like beer, with its lemon flavor coming from fruit infusion.” – Liquor Laboratory

For example, you’ve found a G25158XLC code on your can or bottle. The first letter (G) indicates the month, A for January, B for February, etc. G is the 7th letter in the alphabet, indicating July, the year’s seventh month.

The following two digits (25) indicate the date, and the following two (15) indicate the year. It was produced on July 25, 2015, and the drink remained in its best condition until July 25, 2016.

Read: How Long Does Red Bull Last?

FAQs

What happens if you drink expired Mike’s Hard Lemonade?

Drinking an expired or old Mike’s Hard Lemonade won’t be too harmful if you don’t have any underlying conditions.

Generally, alcohol beyond its expiration is not dangerous, but overindulging, even a newly produced alcoholic drink, has dangerous side effects [2]. So, it’s better to drink responsibly regardless of how old the alcoholic beverage is.

Does Mike’s Hard Lemonade need to be refrigerated?

No, it’s not necessary to have Mike’s Hard Lemonade refrigerated. Any dark and cool, dry place is also a good choice.

It’s just that a refrigerator can also be considered a cool, dry place. A pantry with no light can be a good option.

How long does Mike’s Hard Lemonade last unrefrigerated?

Mike’s Hard Lemonade lasts for over a year, even if unrefrigerated, provided you live in a cold place and the bottle or can is stored properly.

Nevertheless, the flavors can still go off if you store it for over a year.

Bottom Line

Mike’s Hard Lemonade can go on for years if you store it properly. Although it is not necessary to refrigerate it, it’s still an excellent place to store your unopened Mike’s bottles and cans.

But in the end, you will still want to drink Mike’s as fresh as possible, ideally right after buying it. Pay attention to the production date to ensure you have a refreshing drink of its best quality.

References:

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/427090/us-sales-of-the-leading-progressive-adult-beverage-brands/
  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-alcohol-expire#bottom-line
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