Does Beer Go Bad If Left In A Hot Car

Does Beer Go Bad If Left In A Hot Car? Answered (2022)

It’s a hot summer day, and you’ve just picked up a six-pack of your favorite beer from the store. You put it in the trunk of your car and head to your friend’s house for a barbecue. A few hours later, you realize you left the beer in the car. 

If you live in a hot place, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced this scenario before. So does beer go bad if left in a hot car? Read on to learn more.

Will Beer Expire If Left In A Hot Car?

Yes, beer will likely expire or spoil if left in a hot car. Though the word “expire” may not be the perfect term, you get the point. If you leave the beer in a hot car for too long, it may start to taste sour or have an off-flavor. 

The heat makes the process of oxidation faster, which causes the beer to go bad. The beer will spoil faster in higher temperatures. So if you’re leaving your beer in a hot car, be sure to drink it soon.

Though high-quality beers are more resistant to heat than light beers or lagers, it’s still best to keep your beer cold and out of the sun.

Does It Get Skunked From The Heat?

Yes, beer can get skunked from the heat. The heat causes the hops in the beer to break down and release a chemical called isohumulone, which gives beer its characteristic bitterness. [1]  

When isohumulone breaks down, it releases a compound called mercaptan, which has a sulfur-like odor. This is what gives skunked beer its distinctive smell. 

Canned Beer

Canned beer can get skunked from the heat. Canned beer is more susceptible to this than bottled beer because the cans are thinner and allow more light to pass through.

Bottled Beer

Bottled beers are less susceptible to getting skunked than canned beer because the bottles are thicker and allow less light to pass through. However, for the same reason, if a beer is stored in a hot car, it will get skunked, whether bottled or canned.

How To Tell If A Beer Has Gone Bad 

glass of beer in a pub

The easiest way to tell if a beer has gone bad is by looking at the expiration date on the label. If it is past its expiration date, it has likely gone bad. 

Second, take a look at the appearance of the beer. It has probably gone bad if it is cloudy or has visible sediment. 

Finally, smell the beer. If it smells sour or bad, it has likely gone bad and should be discarded. [2]

Is It Safe To Drink Beers Left In A Hot Car? 

No. It is generally not safe to drink beers left in a hot car. The heat can cause beers to go bad and could probably make you sick. Aside from it getting spoiled faster by heat, it also probably tastes and smells bad. 

If you want to drink beer that’s been left in a hot car, let it cool down first. However, drinking it is definitely not recommended.

How Heat Affects It 


Heat affects the taste of beer because it can make the beer go flat. When the beer gets warm, the CO2 in the beer starts to come out of the solution and forms bubbles. These bubbles make the beer taste fizzy and less flavorful.

In short, heat affects the taste of beer because it causes the hops to become more bitter. The higher the temperature, the more pronounced the bitterness will be.


Heat affects the odor of beer by causing the release of volatile compounds that contribute to the overall aroma. 

These compounds are generally more pronounced at higher temperatures, which can result in a more “pungent” smell.

Alcohol Content

If beer is heated, the alcohol content will decrease. This is because alcohol has a lower boiling point than water. So, when beer is heated, the alcohol will evaporate first, leaving behind a less alcoholic beer.

How Long Can Beer Be In The Heat Before It Goes Bad? 

two different pale pilsen

You can keep beer at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 days. After that, it will go bad. 

Beer can go bad after being in the heat for a long period. The beer will start to taste skunky and have an off-flavor. If the beer is exposed to too much heat, it can cause the cans or bottles to explode, too.

It is best to consume beer within two hours of taking it out of the fridge. 

Can You Cool It Down After Becoming Hot?

Yes, you can cool beer down and consume it after it has become hot. However, the beer will not taste as good as it should if it were kept cold from the beginning. It is best to store beers in a cool, dark place to keep them fresh.

Will Beer Explode If Left In The Heat?

Yes, beer can explode if it is left in the heat for too long. The heat causes the pressure inside the can or bottle to build up, which can cause the container to burst. It can be dangerous and should be avoided.

What’s the Best Temperature To Store Beers?

The best temperature to store beer is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will keep the beer fresh and prevent it from going bad. This is also the best temperature to maintain its flavor and aroma.


Does beer go bad if it gets hot and then cold again?

Yes, beers can go bad if it gets warm and then cold again. Warmer temperatures cause beers to spoil faster, so if the beer is repeatedly exposed to warm and cold temperatures, it will age more quickly, and it may not taste as good as it should have if it had been kept cold the whole time.

Can you leave the beer in a hot car for a week?

Yes, but It is not recommended to leave the beer in a hot car for a week. The heat will cause the beer to go bad and taste terrible.

Does unopened beer go bad in the heat?

Yes. Unopened beer can go bad in the heat, depending on the beer. Some beers are more resistant to heat than others (especially light beers). However, in most cases, the heat causes the hops and yeast to break down, which gives the beer a bitter taste.

In Summary 

Though beers left in a hot car can’t be poisonous, it is not recommended to drink them. Heat can affect beers in negative ways. It can make the beer spoil faster and affect the taste, smell, alcohol content, and appearance.

Beers are also susceptible to explosions when exposed to heat for a long period. Too much heat can make the can or bottle burst, so you should be careful.

If you’re planning to leave some beers in your car, be sure it’s cool inside, and avoid direct sunlight. Better if you keep them in a cooler with ice packs if you must.



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