What happens to cold beer if you let it come to room temp? More specifically, I have a bunch of beer left from a party taking up a lot of room in my fridge. I'd like to store it in a closet until the next party but I have vague memories of beer "skunking" if you let it warm up. Will that happen at room temp or does it have to get pretty hot -- like left in the sun -- for the beer to be ruined?

  • Posted by: Peter
  • October 28, 2010


Jon P. October 29, 2010
The more changes in temperature the beer undergoes, the higher the probability that its quality will be compromised.

If you can't keep it in the fridge, do you have a basement? They typically get considerably cooler than the rest of the house.
Kayb October 29, 2010
I'll be happy to take the Yuengling off your hands; can't get it out here in flyover country!
anyone October 29, 2010
Mr Vittles- Love the cooling technique-Beer cooling 101. That was the first class I took freshman year in college. I understand it works great for cooling stocks and soups as well.LOL!
betteirene October 28, 2010
If you can host an open house for 80 (in Brooklyn, no less!), you undoubtedly have enough space to keep a dozen beers inside a Coleman cooler in a closet.

Your apology (for being wine/cocktail people) is accepted. (Heathens!) (Did I really say that? No, you must've mis-heard. I said "Heavens! No apologies for taste are ever necessary on food 52.")

Seriously, Peter, you must not forget us in February. . .if your Halloween party is this all-out, I can't wait to hear what you do for the Super Bowl!

Peter October 28, 2010
Thanks everyone! And yes, Mrs. Larkin -- another party. The one two weeks ago was a 25 person surprise 40th birthday party for a dear friend. This is a 120 person (80 adults, 40 mostly very little kids) all-day Halloween party. An annual event where dozens of pumpkins get carved and over 12 gallons of chili get consumed.

After that? No more parties until... February at least!
allie October 28, 2010
It's fine -- just aim for a cool closet (not one close to the stove).
mrslarkin October 28, 2010
Wow, another party, Peter? You rock. What are you gonna be for Halloween?
Mr_Vittles October 28, 2010
Oh and a cool beer cooling trick: when you need to cool your beer down fast. Try getting a large bucket and filling it half way with tap water and ice (50-50). Then pour in a lot of salt and stir it vigorously. The salt will lower the freezing point of the water, and make it super cold. Then put your beers in the bucket and stir them around, very gently, for 60 seconds. Take them out and they'll be ice cold! Presto!
Mr_Vittles October 28, 2010
Peter October 28, 2010
Great answers everyone. Let me be a bit more specific. We have a couple dozen beers that have been in the fridge since a party a few months ago (sorry, we're wine and cocktail people -- not beer drinkers.)

We're having over 100 people over Sunday so I'm sure it will be consumed then. In the meantime though, I need the space in the fridge to store the 10 gallons(!) of chili I made today.

So... can I take these 2 dozen Brooklyn Brewery and Yuengling and Corona and Smuttynose out of the fridge and stick them in a dark closet for 3 days and then cool them back down and then serve them to my guests without worry of offense?

Thanks everyone!


Mr_Vittles October 28, 2010
Yeah DonnyG is right on! It is light that causes beer to skunk, olive oil to go rancid,and wine to ferment. Light breaks down those gentle flavor compounds in the beer, oil, wine, and basically rots them. Beer should be stored in no light, or at least indirect light, say a closet. If the temperature can stay somewhat regular, again a closet, it would help and heat fluctuations can also cause the beer to skunk. Also, you should consider the vessel the beer is in: if its in metal cans then to hell with it! store it in the kitchen in full view of the sun! No light is going to touch your precious liquid gold. If it is in glass, preferably brown glass, then store it as I mentioned previously. And always remember imbibe safely!
ChefDan October 28, 2010
Unfortunately even keeping it at room temp will ruin many beers in a few months at the most. If you don't have a spare fridge, find the coolest, darkest spot you can find (light is just as bad as heat for beer) and keep it in there. Beer with higher alcohol content (barley wine, dark ales) can be stored longer at regular temps so keep that in mind when you decide which beers you want to pull out next.

But really the solution should be just to have another party this weekend and invite us all over! We'll take care of it for ya!
Nora October 28, 2010
Peter, this is why everyone needs a second refrigerator.
anyone October 28, 2010
I was always under the impression that beer got "skunky" if the exposed to light. I know a lot of beer drinkers that store beer warm (not the highest quality beer) in their garage's with out having a skunk on it. But, of high quality beer I have worked places that store beer warm with out complaints from customers. But, I know that the manufacturers would rather it be stored cold. That's all I know, hope it helps!
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