How Long Does A Keg Last (And Why)?

How Long Does A Keg Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 To 3 Months

A keg is a portable container mostly used to store and transport beer. The keg has been traditionally found more use in the storage and transportation of gunpowder, nails, and other similar items. It is made from stainless steel but those made from wood are not uncommon.

A Keg has great benefits for its users. It results in a much better end product at a very less price, even after factoring in the time constraints. The keg is of incredible importance in storing the beer for a long period but it wears out after a certain time.

How Long Does A Keg Last

How Long Does A Keg Last?

Type of Beer StoredLasts For (Days)Lasts For (Months)
Pasteurized Beer90 to 120 days3 to 4 Months
Unpasteurized Beer30 to 60 days1 to 2 Months

Broadly speaking, there are two types of beer mist commonly used. They are pasteurized beer and unpasteurized beer. Both varieties of beer have different expiry dates.

Almost every beer bottle has its specification and type printed upon it. This makes it easy to differentiate between pasteurized beer the unpasteurized one. However, if any bottle of beer does not carry this specification, it should be assumed that the beer in the keg is unpasteurized.

Pasteurized beer refers to the beer that has its bacteria killed. Once the bacteria is destroyed, a keg of pasteurized beer can last for 90 to 120 days. In terms of months, it can safely last for 3 to 4 months.

In contrast, unpasteurized beer does not go through the pasteurization process. As a result, bacteria are still present in the keg of beer. Such unpasteurized beer can last anywhere between 30 to 60 days or speak terms of months, the figure stands at 1 to 2 months.

While counting the safe period for which the beer lasts, the correct date for starting its life count has to be ascertained carefully. It must be kept in mind that the life of the beer in the keg starts when the beer is packed and not when the keg is opened for use. Moreover, a person can see the packaging of the beer to check the date of manufacturing and packing of beer into the keg.

Why Does A Keg Last So Long?

The safe to consume the life of the keg is subject to several factors. These include the kind of beer dispenser being put to use, whether it is pasteurized or not, and the proper storage temperature. The life of the keg is a byproduct of these major factors.

The pasteurization status of the beer is a crucial factor in determining the shelf life of the keg. If the beer is pasteurized, all its bacteria will be eliminated from the keg which will help it to remain safe for a long time. However, if it is unpasteurized, it will possess a lot of bacteria which will make it unsafe to consume after a certain period.

The storage temperature of the keg is another significant determinant of the shelf life of the keg. The ideal shelf life of the keg is 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures either too above or much below the ideal temperature would be unfavorable to the keg.

If the storage temperature of the keg is above 38 degrees Fahrenheit, it might result in excess foam in the beer and even cause it to be stale. On the other hand, if the temperature falls too below this level, the keg will lose its aroma and flavor and risk being frozen.

One can use either the manual pump dispenser or the kegerator with CO2 to dispense beer from the keg. Generally, the latter helps to store beer safely for longer.


A Keg is mostly used as a container for the storage and transportation of beer. If the beer is pasteurized, it can last for 3 to 4 months, otherwise, unpasteurized beer does not carry a shelf life of more than 1 to 2 months.

The shelf life of the keg is influenced by a multitude of factors. The prominent among these are the storage temperature of the keg, pasteurization status, and the dispenser used to serve beer.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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