Everything You Need to Know About Hard Seltzer Shelf Life

If you're a hard seltzer fan wondering about its shelf life, this post covers all you need to know. From the longevity of unopened hard seltzers and the proper storage, to what happens when it's opened and if expired hard seltzer is safe to drink, it's all here.

You might be one of the many Aussies joining in on the hard seltzer craze sweeping across the country. It’s refreshing, low-calorie, and has a variety of enticing flavours. But like any beverage, it begs the question: what is the shelf life of hard seltzer?

The Shelf Life of Unopened Hard Seltzer

The good news is that unopened hard seltzers generally last a long time, with most brands touting a shelf life of one year post-production. This long shelf life is primarily due to their high alcohol content and canned packaging. The cans are designed to prevent light and oxygen, the two biggest culprits of spoilage, from reaching the drink.

How to Store Unopened Hard Seltzer

For the highest quality sipping experience, you should store your unopened hard seltzer cans in a cool, dark place. The pantry should do the trick, but if you prefer your drink cold, the fridge is a perfectly viable option.

Opened Hard Seltzer Shelf Life

The shelf life of opened hard seltzer is a different story altogether. Once you crack open that can, the flavour and carbonation begin to escape rapidly. After a few hours, you might notice a significant decrease in fizz and taste. So, once you’ve popped a can, there’s no going back!

How to Store Opened Hard Seltzer

If for any reason you can’t finish a can in one sitting and want to keep it around a while longer, you should refrigerate it immediately to slow the defizzing process. However, it will be best enjoyed if consumed within a few hours of opening.

Check the Expiration Date

While hard seltzers can have a long shelf life, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the expiration dates printed on the cans. The date acts as the marker for peak quality, and drinking it beyond this date might result in a flat or off-tasting drink. It’s unlikely to make you ill, but it’s best to consume before this date for an optimal drinking experience.

Is Expired Hard Seltzer Safe to Drink?

Due to its alcohol content, a hard seltzer past its expiration date won’t turn hazardous or breed bacteria like juices or dairy products might. It may lose its carbonation and flavour, but it won’t harm your health. But everyone wants to enjoy their hard seltzer at its best, right?


The world of hard seltzers is exciting and diverse, with new flavours and brands constantly hitting the Australian market. Understanding the shelf life of hard seltzer can help you avoid disappointment and ensure you always have a fresh, tasty drink at hand. Remember to store unopened hard seltzers in a cool, dark spot, drink opened cans in a few hours, and always pay attention to expiration dates for the best drinking experience.

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