How Long Does Mead Last? 

If you have a bottle of mead and are about to open it, you might want to know how long mead will last. Mead is tasty and sweeter alcohol primarily made with honey, fermented fruits, and spices. When contemplating how long a mead will sometimes last, it may be essential to determine the kind of mead you have. 

Unopened bottles of mead can last for a few decades. Opened mead can last in the pantry for three to six months. Mead that is open and put into the fridge can last between four to eight months. 

Mead of all types can generally go by these expiration rules, sometimes surpass these timelines, and still remain safe and tasty. There may be other things to consider like refrigeration, age, improvements of the mead with age, and learning how to tell if the mead has gone bad. 

How Long Does Mead Last in a Bottle?

Mead is sweet, honey-based alcohol that has several different varieties. Mead should be placed in a cool and dry location to achieve its maximum lifespan if unopened. Making mead already comes with a long aging process, so mead is best enjoyed right away or before the three to six-month-long shelf life in the pantry. 

If unopened, mead can last in a bottle for at least a few decades. Mead may hold up well for those decades with texture and flavor, but if it is open, there is also a chance it may not. Mead is best enjoyed within three to six months of placing it in your pantry if opened. If you put it in the fridge, it can be enjoyed for four to eight months. 

Are You Supposed To Refrigerate Mead?

There is no right or wrong answer about putting mead in the fridge. Some like to drink chilled mead, mead on the rocks, or room temperature mead. It all depends on the preference of the drinker. Mead can be placed in the fridge in an opened bottle and be safe to drink for up to eight months. It is best enjoyed before that period between four to eight months. 

How Long Is Mead Drinkable?

Mead can be drinkable for years. The solid foundation of the alcohol helps keep it stable despite the sweetness of the sugar in the honey and the other ingredients. Mead should be consumed within the first few months of opening the bottle, but an unopened bottle can adorn the shelf for years before it needs to be drank.

Does Mead Improve With Age?

Mead is made through aging, so it will already be aged before it is bottled. There is a peak age before mead is not good anymore; it depends on its current age, the method it has been made, and the ingredients it has. Some mead can improve with age, but don’t wait longer than three years to enjoy a bottle of mead

How Can You Tell if Mead Is Bad?

If you have a bottle of mead and it has been a while since it’s been touched, it is probably a good idea to ensure it is still good. If the bottle has not been opened, the mead is probably still good. You can look for: 

  • Separation of ingredients. There might be layers of herbs, crystalized sugars, or goopy honey. 
  • Overly tangy smell. If there is an overly tangy smell and it is unpleasant, it may be bad. This can happen with meads that have fruit in them. 
  • Dark coloration or mold. If there are splotches of dark spots or mold growing in an open bottle, it is time to throw it out.

Conclusion

Mead is a sweet, honey-based alcohol with a reasonably long shelf-life. Mead can sit on the shelf unopened for decades before drinking. Opened bottles can sit in the pantry for three to six months. Bottles of mead that have been opened can sit in the fridge and last for up to eight months and are best consumed within four months.