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Jul 27, 2008 07:39 AM

Beer Hangovers

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 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.......

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  1. 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. 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

        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. 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

          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

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

          2. 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. 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

                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

                  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.