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How Long Does a Keg Last?

Metal beer keg
Metal beer keg

As opposed to previous generations who may have considered beer to be a low-brow beverage unworthy of major investment, younger Americans have been revitalizing the role of beer in American culture by elevating it from low-brow to high-brow. The result has been that beer has become increasingly complicated, reflecting the investment made by beer manufacturers in order to provide the flavors and variety that the millennials and now the gen Z generation expects. 

Why Go For Draft?

A draft beer system has a number of advantages over simply refrigerating a bunch of bottles of beer. The main advantages of a draft beer system are freshness, flavor, and overall quality. Listed below are just a few reasons why you might want to think about swapping your bulky fridge out for a sleeker line of sparkling taps in your kitchen.

Bottles Are Exposed To Light

The exposure of beer to light can cause strange things to happen to it. When beer is exposed to a chemical reaction for a prolonged period of time, a chemical reaction occurs within the beer, causing it to produce a foul odor and taste. Due to the similarity in the aromas of both beers, when this happens, it is usually referred to as a beer being “skunked”. There is no control over the shipping process in the case of bottles and you have no guarantee that one of your customers will not experience skunked beer if they order a bottle from you.

Bottles Don’t Provide A Complete Seal

In spite of the fact that the bottling process is designed to be sanitary, it is not airtight. It is not uncommon for a slow exchange of gases between the outside world and the bottled beer to result in the beer becoming flat and losing some of the flavors that it once had.

Draft Beer Systems Allow You To Control The Temperature

If you’re aiming for the best possible experience with your beer, then there are a few factors that you should be aware of regarding temperature, pressure, and head. If you provide your customers with a range of customizable draft beer systems and a knowledgeable bartender, you will be able to consistently provide them with that experience.

People Love The Extra Carbonation

CO2 is commonly used to create the pressure that transports your favorite beer from the keg to your glass. As a result, draft beer has a little extra carbonation. And it gives you an almost imperceptibly different sensation as you drink. Many experts credit this extra zing of carbonation with the average person’s preference for draft over canned or bottled beer.

How Long Does A Keg Last? Ensuring Freshness

Of course, none of these benefits will matter if your draft beer isn’t fresh. That is why it is so important to create a reliable system for ordering and replacing kegs in an orderly fashion. Luckily, there are a few rules you can use to guide you. Especially if you’re still learning about making the switch to a draft beer system.

  • Always check for a “Born On” date or an expiration date. The born on date will be the day the keg was filled at the brewery. It is that date that will indicate how long your keg is good for.
  • Know whether your beer is pasteurized or non-pasteurized. This may not seem like a big difference at first. But a pasteurized beer can be kept for three to four months, while a non-pasteurized beer can only be kept for six to eight weeks.
  • Always use a professional draft beer system. Ensure the keg is directly tapped into the system and stored at the appropriate temperature. If so, using a professional draft beer system will not decrease the shelf life of your beer even after it has been tapped. By contrast, another method will introduce oxygen into your keg, and it will only be good for twelve to twenty-four hours.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature where you store your kegs. Ideally, you should store them at 38 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes over 45, then you risk bacteria forming inside the keg. If the temperature dips below 30, then you risk your beer freezing.
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