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How Long Does Hard Cider Last? Does it Go Bad?

Hard ciders can commonly be found in every household as it is the best beverage one can ever have.

However, many people find out while storing that the drink loses its quality as time passes.

Thus people do think that do Hard Cider go bad or do they have stored them incorrectly?

Some people say as the beverage contains alcohol, therefore it cannot go bad.

However, there is no doubt hard cider does go bad, and this process is called hard cider aging.

Besides, this cider can lose its taste because of improper storage.

What is Hard Cider?

It is an alcoholic drink that consists of fermented juice from many fruits.

This cider is similar to apple cider, but in addition, it contains alcohol content.

At first, these are primarily found in America and Europe, but now you have many where around the world.

They include an average alcohol-by-volume content that ranges between 4.5-7%.

But this alcohol cannot keep the cider good for a more extended period.

These ciders are advantageous and full of antioxidants that help deal with cancerous cells.

Many people find hard cider and beer similar, but they contain a lot of differences in them.

That is because beer is brewed from malt and is considered a fermented beverage.

However, hard ciders are mainly extracted from apples and do not include hops or malt.

How Long Does Hard Cider Last? Does Hard Cider Go Bad?

As provided mentioned that they lose their quality over time; thus, how much time can one take its authentic taste? When it comes to shelf life, then all hard ciders have different shelf lives as per their brand.

However, you have seen that all ciders have a best-by date on their label, but that does not mean the drink will go bad after that.

It is an expected date till which you should finish the cider and enjoy its authentic quality.

The average shelf life of hard cider is two years, but some cider only lasts up to 1 year.

Once a certain time passes, the cider will begin to deteriorate, and the taste will be more similar to vinegar.

If a cider expires before its usual time span, that is because of bad storage.

When you cannot keep the beverage correctly, the deterioration process becomes faster, and its taste begins to decrease.

Keeping the cider at too warm or too cold a temperature cannot retain its flavor.

Therefore you need to maintain a proper temperature that is 4 degrees to preserve the flavor and richness of the beverage.

How to Tell if Hard Cider Has Gone Bad?

  • Slimy Pulp

The beverage can develop a slimy pulp in them if they have gone bad.

As time passes, they begin to develop slimy pulp.

Some of the apples, like true cider apples, will not get this.

However, they more often develop in ciders that are extracted from dessert apples.

The pectin will get to the enzymes of the apples and will break them down, which causes this pulp.

So you can see slimy pulp in your beverage, then it’s time to discard it.

  • Milky Haze

There are times when you can notice a milky haze in your cider.

This happens when bacteria get into your cider.

This is a common sign among sweet apple cider and hard ciders with residual sugar.

The bacteria ferment the sugar and also produce acetaldehydes that make milky haze if they interact with tannins.

  • Sour Smell

A significant change that can be easily noticed is the smell of the beverage.

At first, they will offer a smell like hard cider, but once it loses its potency, then it will smell like cider vinegar.

Therefore if it has developed a sour smell, then you must not have the cider anymore.

How to Store Hard Cider?

  • Maintain Temperature

While storing your beverage, you need to keep the temperature at a certain level.

That is because keeping it at room temperature will increase the pace of oxidation.

Also, keeping the temperature too cool will not cause any benefit as cider is fermented.

  • Place of Storage

Storage at room temperature will diminish the flavor and make your cider taste like vinegar in no time.

Store in the kitchen or pantry is only advisable if you live in a colder region.

The same goes for people who live in a warmer climate because their room temperature is higher than usual.

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight

The oxidation process not only increases with air, but it also gets faster due to excess heat or light.

So when you are storing bottles of hard cider, then be sure to put them away from the place of direct sunlight.

Continuous exposure to lighting can lead to bacteria and vanish your beverage’s flavor.


You can use this information to keep your hard cider fresh for longer, but drinking it before the best-by date is more recommended.

Do not have the cider once you have felt a sour smell or vinegar-like taste.

For better storage, adding a cap like cork can seal the bottle again and keep the cider safe from outer elements.

Having the cider in a larger quantity will increase the risk of food-borne bacteria.

Thus be sure to look for the above-provided spoilage signs and avoid having contaminated beverages.

Having this cider in a specific quantity can reduce the chances of heart attacks, strokes, and multiple disorders.

How Long Does Hard Cider Last? Does it Go Bad?

Planning to enjoy hard cider? Learn how long hard cider lasts and whether it's prone to spoilage.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Hard cider
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
Keyword How Long Does Hard Cider Last
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