DRAFT BEER FAQS: KEG BEER BASICS
How long will a keg of draft beer remain fresh?
All beers are at their best on the day the keg is filled at the brewery. As days go past, the freshness reduces. In general, the fresher your keg draft beer is, the better it tastes. Keg beer will remain fresh if dispensing with CO2 while maintaining the proper temperature and pressure: For non-pasteurized draft beer, about 45-60 days. For pasteurized draft beer, about 90-120 days.
NOTE: When dispensing keg beer with a party pump (air), any draft beer will remain fresh for no more than 8-12 hours.
For quality assurance, most breweries now print a freshness date on each keg's cap or side. Depending on the brewery, this may either be a “born on” (filled) date or an “expiration” date. Read the label carefully. While each brewer's shelf life may differ, days in inventory before it reaches you are factored into the keg's shelf life.
For example, non-pasteurized beer has a shelf-life of 45-60 days. Here is an example of a keg’s life:
- Days 0-10 (Transit/Satellite Warehousing)
- Days 10-20 (Distributor Warehouse/Retail Delivery)
- Days 20-60 (At Retail/Home)
So the average keg has 25-40 days of shelf life at retail or in a home. Breweries recommend not drinking draft beer past the freshness date. Don't forget that air contains oxygen, and oxygen is an enemy of beer!
THE GLOBAL LEADER IN DRAFT EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS
For over 60 years, Micro Matic has been recognized as one of the world’s leading suppliers of draft beer equipment. Specializing in keg-to-glass technology, we offer a total solution for meeting your draft beer equipment needs. Our dedication to customer service is supported by four regional sales and distribution centers, the Micro Matic Dispense Institute for training and education, and a Certified Installer Network for draft beer installations. Want to speak with a “perfect pour” expert? Contact Micro Matic today.