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Shelf Life Guide: How Long Does Mead Last?

If you find a bottle of mead and wondering whether it is still drinkable, you have started reading the perfect article. And why is that?

Well, we have rounded out some useful information down below to determine steps to extend its shelf life and look for signs to identify bad mead.

But one of the many questions that might arise in your mind is, how long does mead last? To know that, we might first understand which type of mead we are talking about and how we should treat it.

As we know, mead is a traditional fermented beverage made from water, honey, and yeast. Often referred to as the drink of the gods, mead has been in cultivation for thousands of years all over the world.

So how do you preserve this traditional heritage for long? Simple, follow our instructions, and see it through for months.

Does Mead Go Bad? How Long Does Mead Last?

Like many other fruits such as raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry, mead is common to many households.

When you talk about the shelf life of meads, it depends on their varieties, which are classified as classic and lighter meads.

Classic meads usually contain more alcohol percentage and last longer than lighter meads.

Their shelf life may vary from years to even decades if the bottle is not open. An open bottle of classic mead also lasts for a few months while retaining its quality.

On the other hand, lighter meads usually deliver great quality but for a shorter period.

You might want to keep in check the best-before date in case you have a lighter mead bottle, as it will hold its quality for a few months after it passes the best-by date.

Tip: It would be best to finish a bottle of light mead as soon as possible after you open it, as the taste may not be that great.

According to Healthline, mead holds many nutritional benefits and has historical significance across the globe.

Ancient cultures considered mead with vitality and good health, and studies in this field suggest honey is the main source of these health benefits.

It would be best if you store mead like unopened wine, and yes, that means away from sunlight and in a cool and dark place.

A wine cellar is a perfect place to start with, but if you don’t have one, a pantry cabinet will do the job too.

How to Tell if Mead is Bad? Mead Shelf Life!

Mead usually lasts for long, and going bad is often hard to come by. Both classic and lighter meads that we buy from the producers last for long periods. However, things may change if you brew one for yourself.

Homemade meads usually don’t undergo the facility treatments that major producers follow, and this results in your batch getting infected.

Once that happens, it would be best to toss it out and prepare a new one following the guidelines.

Tip: So how to spot the spoilage signs? You can look for these signs that determine the condition of your mead.

  • Look out for any color changes in your mead. This usually indicates that your mead has gone bad.
  • The taste will also turn bad and will exhibit a bitter flavor.
  • Your mead may show signs of cloudiness.
  • Odor or rancid aroma is one of the best and simple ways to find out bad mead.

Tip: Most producers offer guidelines to follow while storing mead, and it would be best if you follow these accordingly.

Storing mead in the refrigerator is also a common practice, while some producers think of it otherwise.

what is mead

Does Mead Go Bad? How Long Does Mead Last?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Mead
  • Air-tight containers or bottle
  • 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).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.
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