Occasionally, there are a few reasons you might want to store an opened beer for later. If you’ve cracked a large high-strength beer and don’t want to drink it all at once or perhaps you just opened one too many – how do you store opened beer and keep it tasting fresh?
To keep your opened beer fresh for as long as possible, store it in the fridge. Reseal the original bottle or can with a stopper or can cover, or use a container with a tight-fitting lid to prevent oxygen from getting in. This will help prolong the beer’s flavor and fizziness.
However, even with proper storage, opened beer will eventually lose its flavor and carbonation within a few days to a week after opening.
There are a few things you can do to prolong its freshness, and some great products out there to try which I will explore in this article.
Let’s get started by looking at how best to store cans versus bottles of beer.
Storing Opened Cans Vs Opened Bottles Of Beer
The first thing to consider when storing opened beer is whether you have a can or a bottle. For the best way of storing either there’s not a lot of difference, but it’s much easier to reseal a bottle than it is a can.
Opened beer cans can be stored in the refrigerator just like unopened cans. However, unless you have a type of beer saver or reusable can lid (see below for some ideas), it’s best to transfer it to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid unless storing for a short time.
This will help keep the carbonation in and the air out, which will help prevent the drink from going flat.
Opened bottles of beer should always be stored with a stopper or cap if possible for the same reasons.
If you don’t have a stopper, any tight-fitting lid will work. Again, check below for some products and gadgets I’ve come across that help with this.
Can You Reseal A Beer With Its Cap?
Often you may not have an airtight container that you can use to store your beer and might be wondering if you can just reseal the bottle or can with its original lid.
Unfortunately, unless the lid is made to be resealable, like a screw top, you can’t reseal it properly. Fizz will escape so it can’t be reliably used.
The seal on most one-time-use lids is designed to be broken only once, and reusing it will probably mean that it’s no longer airtight, allowing the beer to go flat quickly.
But you can reseal a beer with some other products specially designed to do so.
Products To Keep Opened Beer Fresh For Later
If you often store beer for more than a day or two, I’ve found a few products and methods you can use to help keep it fresh.
Wine stoppers – These are a great option for storing opened bottles of beer or sparkling wine. They create a tight seal that helps keep air out, and they’re easy to use. Simply insert the stopper into the bottle and firmly push it down into place to stop it from popping out.
Beer savers/Can covers – These lids are specifically designed to help keep canned drinks fresh after it’s been opened. Often these are made from stretchy silicone so that they can stretch to cover any opening. To use a beer saver, simply attach it to the can, making sure it creates a tight seal and you’re good to go.
Vacuum sealers – If you have a vacuum wine bottle sealer, you can use it to seal opened bottles of beer too. Note that the carbon dioxide in the beer will mean the vacuum doesn’t last long, but removing the air means less oxygenation which turns beer bitter.
Plastic wrap and rubber bands – If you don’t have any of the fancy gadgets above to hand, try using some plastic wrap and a rubber band instead! Just wrap it around the bottle top or can and use the rubber band to keep it in place.
All of these will help keep air out and prevent the beer from losing its sparkle.
Just remember to always store your beer away from light and heat (in the fridge is best), and if you don’t have anything to seal the can or bottle, pour it into a clean container with a tight-fitting lid instead.
How Long Does Opened Beer Last?
How long an open beer lasts depends on the type of beer, how it’s stored, and how long it has been left open already.
Most beers will stay fresh for up to a week after they’ve been opened if sealed properly and stored in the fridge. If you store it unsealed in the fridge then it will last 1-2 days at most.
Lighter lagers such as Bud and Coors are more likely to go flat and stale more quickly than high-quality, stronger beers such as IPAs and other craft beers.
Some high-alcohol beers can last beyond a week if they’re stored properly, but to be honest, the best way to enjoy a beer at its best is just to drink it sooner rather than later.
- Related article: What Happens To Alcohol When Left Open? (Does It Lose Potency)
Can You Store Opened Beer In The Fridge?
Storing opened beer in the fridge is the recommended way to store it. The fridge will help slow down the process of oxidation and keep the beer fresher for longer.
Cooler temperatures also help the liquid retain more of its fizziness as the amount of time carbon dioxide stays dissolved is prolonged by keeping liquids cold.
However, even with proper cold storage, opened beer will eventually lose its flavor and carbonation over time. But storing it in the refrigerator will certainly help keep it tasting great when compared to leaving it out on the countertop.
It’s best to cover the beer so that other strong flavors in the fridge won’t taint the taste of the beer, and it keeps as much fizz in as possible.
Tips To Stop Beer Going Flat Once Opened
One of the biggest challenges when storing opened beer is preventing it from going flat from loss of carbon dioxide gas. Here are some tips to help keep your beer fresh and full of bubbles:
- Keep it in the fridge – the most important tip! Cold beer retains carbonation better than warm beer, so keeping your beer cold is key.
- Don’t shake the container – shaking the container can release more carbon dioxide and cause the beer to go flat.
- Drink it quickly – the longer an open beer sits around, the more likely it is to lose its fizz. Try to drink your beer in one sitting if kept at room temperature, or within a few days if properly storing it.
- Pour it gently – when pouring beer, pour it gently and from a low height to avoid agitating the beer and causing it to go flatter than it already is.
So that’s it, storing opened beer is a doable task, but it requires a bit of know-how to keep the beer tasting fresh for as long as possible.
Whether you have a can or a bottle, using a container with some sort of tight-fitting lid or stopper is essential.
If you want to store opened beer for more than a few days, products like wine stoppers, beer savers, vacuum sealers, or even just plastic wrap and rubber bands can help keep the beer fresh.
And don’t forget to keep your beer cold and pour it gently to help retain the carbonation.