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Beer Hangovers

Saddleoflamb Jul 27, 2008 07:39 AM

Back in the day , both before I knew better and before the advent of the full blown onset of the Micro revolution, I can remember head splitting beer hangovers...........we're talking curled up in a fetal ball, thumb in mouth ,crying for my mother, beer hangovers....(late highschool/college....pre marriage /kids).
These were initiated by imbibing one too many mass produced Buds, Coors,Michelobs,....even some of the imports Heineken, Carlsbergs.....some ,what I thought were quality American brews Andeker(sp), Prior Double Dark.....
Now this wasn't a regular occurrance, but when it did happen I was out for a day....no matter how many gallons of cold water and aspirin .
This all changed /went away since the creation of Sierra Nevada and the ensueing rise of the Micro Brew.....have never again had that cranium thumping , crawl back under a rock, experience........why?
Was it the additives? The quality of ingredients?........
Bud comes to mind as the most vile offender........What brings back not so fond memories of lost weekends to you.......

  1. b
    brendastarlet Jul 27, 2008 07:42 AM

    That's strange. I actually get sicker on microbrews than on the name brands, and pretty much had to swear off them. My friends theorize they aren't always as pasturized/sterile as the big names, and I may have run into some that didn't travel well. In any case, I'm more of a wine drinker and there's nothing so dismal as a champagne hangover.

    1. v
      V1ctory Jul 28, 2008 12:31 AM

      Maybe it's because you slowed down to savor the flavor as opposed to chugging ice-cold swill before the taste caught up with you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: V1ctory
        Saddleoflamb Jul 29, 2008 06:27 PM

        Upon reflection the taste was definitley nasty........never had much to do with the speed ....then or now..... although back when it wasn't necessarily about savoring as much as it is now.....thanks for the insight though.

      2. m
        mojoeater Jul 30, 2008 09:16 AM

        I get horrible headaches from Bud/Bud Light. Doesn't matter if I only have a couple. I was told it could be from the rice they use, but I'm not sure. It never happened with Miller or Coors products, or any other cheap beer. I'll still drink PBR when I'm at the beach or on the river. The rest of the time it's quality microbrews for me!

        2 Replies
        1. re: mojoeater
          JessKidden Jul 30, 2008 10:18 AM

          I've heard some people suggest that the "Budweiser headache" is due to a sensitivity to acetaldehyde, of which Bud has higher levels than many other beers of similar alcohol content and style.

          1. re: mojoeater
            writergeek313 Dec 7, 2009 12:40 PM

            I can't drink any Bud product. Even one gives me a splitting headache. My dad has the same experience.

          2. Josh Jul 30, 2008 10:03 AM

            It seems to me that headaches come from consuming fusel alcohol. Fusel alcohols can be found in beers that have higher alcohol levels.

            There's no logical reason, if you understand how beer is made, why micro/craft brew should differ from macro brew in terms of hangovers.

            1. BeeRich Oct 4, 2008 01:34 PM

              Hangovers are from fusel alcohols swelling the brain. These are increased with what's called high gravity beers. Most large brewers make a condensed high concentrated beer, then dilute it with deoxygenated water. The yeast produce strange components (fusels) which remain in the final product.

              Microbrews don't have these, but have other components, and some micros might have complex components, given their choice of yeast, ingredients, etc. For the most part, micros will do much better than mass produced beer.

              2 Replies
              1. re: BeeRich
                jgg13 Oct 6, 2008 08:48 AM

                fusels are just one thing that can promote a hangover. Acetaldehyde, for instance is another chemical that promotes hangovers.

                Also, fusels are formed due to fermentation temperature, not "what's called high gravity beer".

                1. re: jgg13
                  BeeRich Dec 7, 2009 08:22 AM

                  Fusels are the organic chem that is in your head that stays there. Acetaldehyde is an intermediate. Easily handled by mammals. Fusels are produced in many low termperature lagers. Also, a lot of high temperature ales that have had very little fusels. High gravity is the main reason for fusels. Not sure where you are getting your information from.

              2. Jonny509 Oct 7, 2008 09:17 AM

                The worst beer related hangover I ever had came at the hands of Rolling Rock. It was back in college before I knew any better.

                More recently me and some friends were putting down a few pitchers of Stella Artouis and that gave me one hell of a hangover.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Jonny509
                  Whosyerkitty Oct 7, 2008 10:58 AM

                  Ditto on the Rolling Rock and haven't touched it since. Rainier Ale, as well, foul with pounding blinding headaches.

                  The only problem I notice now is some nasal stuffiness with some microbrews, I presume from yeast or wheats, but that clears up in a short time.

                  1. re: Whosyerkitty
                    BeeRich Dec 7, 2009 08:23 AM

                    RR is/was owned by Labatt's. I can only assume it's high gravity.

                    1. re: BeeRich
                      mojoeater Dec 7, 2009 01:45 PM

                      I can drink high gravity beers with no ill effects. It's the Bud & Bud Light that kill me.

                      1. re: BeeRich
                        JessKidden Dec 8, 2009 03:09 AM

                        Rolling Rock (yes, once owned by InBev-Labatt, sold to A-B a few years ago and, so, back in the huge A-B-InBev stable- for now) is not a "high gravity beer" - 4.5 abv (and a 3.2 abw version, too, IIRC).

                        Unless you mean brewed at a high gravity and then diluted to "street" abv-aka "high gravity brewing"? The existence of two abv versions of the beer suggests that's likely but I'd think a company like A-B (or Labatt before it) would have HG brewing down. Got any further info on HG brewed beer at "normal abv" being more likely to cause headaches (due, I take it, to unwanted fermentation by-products)?

                        Speaking of "unwanted fermentation by-products" Rolling Rock was (is) notorious for being the classic example of a beer high in DMS as it's "house flavor".

                        1. re: JessKidden
                          NorfolkGuy Dec 8, 2009 11:47 AM

                          How much beer are we talking?? That's the major factor here.
                          I can have a 12 pack of the finest brew ever brewed (busch), and feel fine every morning. Being an amateur is also an issue.

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