Of all the beers that you can find on a store shelf, few have had as much exposure in pop culture as Corona beer. The beer continues to be one of the leading brands in the market, with plenty of fans stocking it up in their fridges for the long-term.
That begs the question, does Corona beer expire? Yes, Corona Beer does expire, and you can find out when by referring to the expiration date on the bottle. Still, Corona Beer can usually last an additional 6-9 months beyond that date if you keep it at room temperature, and up to 2 years if you keep it in the fridge.
In this article, we’re going to answer some of the most common questions about Corona beer and its expiration date. By the end, you’ll learn how to read the beer’s expiration code, understand how long it lasts, and learn a few tips on how to make your Corona keep for longer.
How Do You Read The Corona Beer Expiration Code?
Besides an expiration date, each Corona beer bottle also carries what’s commonly known as an ‘expiration code’. Each alphabet and number on that code will tell you precisely when and where the bottle was produced so that you’ll know if it’s expired or not.
A typical expiration code looks like this: A084B029. Here’s what each part of that code means:
- The first alphabet represents the month (e.g. ‘A’ for January).
- The two numbers after that represent the month’s date (e.g. ‘08’ for the 8th of January’).
- The following number after that represents the year (e.g. ‘4’ for 2014).
- The next alphabet represents the shift when the beer was produced. (e.g. ‘B’ for second shift).
- The following two numbers represent the line number (e.g. ‘02’ for Line 2).
- And the final number represents the brewery (e.g. ‘9’, which is the brewery in Nava, Mexico).
Fun fact: Corona beer is made by Constellation Brands, which also produces several other popular beverages. All of them share the same shared format when it comes to their expiration codes.
How Long Can Unopened Corona Beer Last?
An unopened bottle of Corona can last up to 2 years if it is refrigerated properly.
According to the manufacturer, Corona beer has a shelf life of up to 180 days, which is approximately six months. However, some claim that the shelf life can actually be almost up to 9 months in total if stored at room temperature.
With optimal refrigeration between 53-59 degrees Fahrenheit, that bottle of Corona could instead last up to 2 years. The beer may not taste perfect after all that time, but it’ll still be drinkable and somewhat enjoyable.
How Long Does Corona Beer Last After Opening It?
Typically, an opened Corona beer will only last for about one day if you’ve kept it refrigerated the entire time. However, it won’t last as long if you’ve left it out at room temperature.
Suppose you’ve opened a bottle of Corona and left it on the table at room temperature. If that’s the case, then the beer may go bad a lot sooner than that.
Of course, this answer can be entirely subjective for some people. To say if a Corona is ‘spoiled’ or not depends entirely on how much you can tolerate in terms of changes in the Corona’s taste.
With each passing moment, the opened bottle Corona will lose its carbonation (all the fizz) and start to taste flat. Plus, the flavor will continue to change over time in such a way that most people may no longer enjoy.
How Should I Store Corona Beer?
You should store your Corona beer away from sunlight or fluorescent lights, preferable in the dark where the temperatures are low.
Your best bet is to keep your Corona beer in a fridge, as the inside will be cold and dark the entire time. As mentioned before, those conditions can maximize the beer’s shelf life for up to 2 years.
Suppose you don’t have a working fridge to store your Corona beer. You could leave it in the dark at room temperature, but it’s always best to find a colder room in the house. Keep it under a bed or somewhere in the basement where it won’t be exposed to any heat or light.
Bonus Tip: Oh, and always keep your beers standing upright. Look a little closer, and you’ll see that there’s a small bit of air trapped inside each Corona beer bottle which causes oxidation.
As long as you keep the bottle upright, only a small part (the top bit) of the beer will come into contact with that air. Store it sideways, and you’ll let that air touch pretty much all the beer, speeding up its expiration.
What Happens If You Drink Expired Corona Beer?
Nothing terrible will happen to you if you drink expired Corona beer. However, you may have a very nasty tasting drink hitting your tongue, so be careful about that.
When a Corona beer expires, it’s not that it turns into something toxic that can poison you or hurt your stomach. Expired beer is essentially harmless.
However, you may offend your taste buds if you’ve let the Corona beer go bad in one of two ways.
If the bottle were left open, it would’ve lost all of its oxidation and become flat. Nobody likes a flat-tasting beer (usually).
Suppose you’ve left it exposed to sunlight or fluorescent lighting. Well, that beer would’ve become ‘lightstruck’ or ‘skunked’, resulting in a less than palatable Corona beer.
Bottom line? The expired beer won’t hurt you, but it might make you lose a little bit of love for that fantastic Corona taste.
So, what can we learn from all of the above? Always keep your Corona beer cold and away from UV or fluorescent light. If your fridge is broken or full, keeping the beer in a dark and cool room is an acceptable form of storage.
But above all, keep your Corona beer standing upright at all times, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for up to 2 years (or more, if you don’t mind the change in taste).