How long does a keg of beer stay fresh?

The Kegerator Guy
'The Kegerator Guy,' Chief Kegerator Officer Christian Lavender
The Kegerator Guy, Christian Lavender, is a kegerator expert and answers readers' questions about kegerators and draft beer issues.

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Question for the expert

Dear Kegerator Guy,
How long does a keg of beer stay fresh? I've got a keg of Domestic beer (15 G) and I need to know how long the beer will stay fresh before it is undrinkable. I am getting all sorts of different answers from different sources so I'm looking for an expert's advice.
-- Michael in Dallas, TX

Answer for the expert

Dear Michael,
By all accounts, if your kegerator's lines are clean and the kegerator is working properly, you can keep a keg of beer staying fresh for up to 6 months. 4 months is more likely. If you have to leave your home bar for a while, it is recommended to disconnect your beer and gas lines while you are gone. If the beer flowing from your kegerator is un-pasteurized, it may go bad sooner. Now, all of this assumes that you are powering your beer with CO2 or NO2. If your beer is powered by an air pump, you have about 8 hours to a couple of day if you are lucky.

See related: Keg Dispensing FAQs, Cleaning Your Kegerator, Beer Calculator

Christian Lavender is the CKO (Chief Kegerator Officer) for in Austin, TX. has been an online destination for draft beer related information since 1998.

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