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Avoiding Spoilage: How Long Does Hard Cider Last?

Hard cider is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world. Hard cider comes from fermented juices of apples.

The alcohol content in hard cider is 4.5-7% on average.

According to Wikipedia, the Romans also consumed hard cider who conquered Europe, and they planted apple orchards just for the sole production of hard cider.

Hard cider was also the drink of choice for the majority of soldiers because crates of wine were hard to come by.

You can age cider but have to careful. Usuallyyou can keep a well-conditioned hard cider bottle for years.

But most commercial ciders are not produced to do so.  They’re either conditioned to be sterile or pasteurized with an expiration limit of three years or so.

Even if it technically doesn’t go bad, the flavor of the alcohol will change over time.

So it’s recommendable that you drink hard cider without keeping it on the shelf for too long.

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

how long does hard cider last

Wanted to know if your favorite hard cider of choice can go bad?

Here’s what you need to know if your pack of hard cider has been sitting on a shelf for some time. Let’s get into details.

Yes, hard cider can be aged. You can actually store it for years, but cider also gets drier by time.

Hard ciders with an alcohol content of over 6% are usually safe to be aged.

But like most ciders, if kept way past their shelf limit, they will turn into cider vinegar.

How can you tell? By trying to taste the flavor of vinegar in your drink.

does hard cider go bad

Hard cider does have a limited shelf life. Different companies of hard cider has their own expiration dates.

Hard cider has a shelf life of around two to three years.

In some cases, hard ciders only last up to a year. So checking the expiration date is essential.

Once you’ve opened a bottle of hard cider, you should keep it refrigerated at all times so that it maintains the original flavor and taste.

Experts also recommend that you drink or use the hard cider within 7 to 10 days.

Even if you keep the drink for that long, it will just give out an unpleasant smell and leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Hard cider does not get spoiled immediately, but the flavor could change drastically, and the taste will become more unsuitable to drink.

The quality will degrade the longer it’s left on the shelf. It’ll also give you a flavor similar to vinegar.

Try to keep your hard cider in optimal conditions while you’re storing them so you can enjoy the original taste when you take them out.

Do not leave it on the shelf for more than two years, but make sure to check the labels for expiration dates.

How to Tell if Hard Cider is Bad?

how to tell if hard cider is bad

The most common way to determine if your hard cider has gone bad is give it a taste.

When hard cider spoils, it’ll taste something like apple cider vinegar.

You can also tell if you get a sour smell inside the drink if you leave it out for long. You should be able to pick up the scent of the vinegar in an instant.

There are three significant threats to your hard cider:

  • Oxidation
  • Fermentation problems
  • Bacterial contamination

A little bit of oxidation could give your beverage a sense of complexity and a rich taste. But too much oxidation will enhance the carton flavor and lower the quality of the cider.

Under Cider FAQs, you should chill cider to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The fermentation process may also cause issues during production. When the yeast is stressed, they produce sulfur, which gives off a very rotten smell.

This could result from not enough nutrients, excessive heat, or too much heat sedimentation during the procedures.

In this case, adding nutrients to transfer the hard cider in a new vessel could make things work.

Bacterial contamination will also give out unpleasant odors. The most common threat is vinegar.

A little bit of vinegar can be palatable, but it is an unstoppable process, and the cider will eventually become vinegar.

An excellent way to ensure your cider doesn’t spoil is to keep checking on its quality and the smell it gives out from time to time.

If it’s over a year or so, it’d be better if you just dispose of it.

does hard cider go bad

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

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


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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