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Bottled vs Draft Beer, why do I have a hangover?

Stuccolow Nov 24, 2008 05:22 AM

I enjoyed a few too many draft beers over the weekend. However, I feel that if I had had the same number of bottled beers, or a bottle of wine, I would not have felt as awful as I did. It was bad. I have not felt that bad for ages.

  1. g
    Garnetgirl Jan 26, 2009 11:12 AM

    I'm not sure I can answer your question with science but I can offer anecdotal evidence. The last two times I have had 'terrible' reactions to a night of drinking (which were separated by 5 years) were after consuming draught beer from slightly sketchy pubs. I have the capacity to drink a lot more alcohol than I consumed on those two nights but a couple of pints of pale ale from these places resulted in a catastrophic case of the spins. I suspect that there is something about the drink itself rather than the amount that I had that is the major factor in the outcome of the evening. *pun not intended*

    Let me know if you ever find real evidence - I'd love to defend myself with some real data!

    1. r
      RosemaryHoney Dec 1, 2008 07:58 AM

      Were you drinking the same beer that you would normally drink from bottles? Many of the beers we had on draft at the bar I worked in had ABV% upwards of 6.5%, with some imperials reaching up to 9-10%, and people who typically drink Bud or Corona's (4.8%) didn't always realize how much higher the alcohol contents were in these drafts.

      Another factor could be the difference in volume. Bottles are typically 12 fl oz, whereas pints are (supposed to be) 16 fl oz. If you have 4 pints, that equivalent to over 5 bottles. In combo with higher ABV, this could lead you to feel it more in the morning.

      Finally, it could have been a particular type of pint you ordered. After much trial and error (and many not-so-great mornings), my husband discovered that if he drinks Festina Peche (Dogfish Head) he'll be sick in the morning - no matter how much or little of anything else he drinks. It must be some reaction with the yeast or sugars or something, but he has to avoid it entirely. Weird.

      6 Replies
      1. re: RosemaryHoney
        Jim Dorsch Dec 1, 2008 09:09 AM

        IIRC Festina Peche is a take on Berliner Weisse. Perhaps there's lactic acid in the beer that causes your husband's problems.

        1. re: Jim Dorsch
          Doh Dec 1, 2008 06:51 PM

          IIRC, they don't even call Festina Peche "beer"-- they call it something like a "malt beverage."

          1. re: Doh
            JessKidden Dec 2, 2008 03:15 AM

            The "malt beverage brewed with peach concentrate" on DFH FP's label is a legal requirement of the TTB (successor to the ATF). "Malt beverage" is the legal term for ALL beer, regardless of style. From the TTB pdf pamphlet "What You Should Know About Malt Beverage Labels":

            "'Malt Beverage' is the general name given in the Federal alcohol labeling regulations for all products made at a brewery with malted barley and hops. It includes things like beer, ale, lager, flavored malt beverages, and even 'near beer'.

            When a malt beverage is made with the addition of spices, fruit, honey or natural flavors, it requires specific labeling to indicate the class designation. These malt beverages must be labeled with a statement of composition that reflects the base malt product and the added ingredients, unless otherwise known to the trade under a particular designation. Examples of statements of composition that you might see on malt beverage labels included 'Premium malt beverage with natural flavors' 'Ale fermented with spices' or 'Belgian-style Wheat Ale brewed with natural flavors'." http://www.ttb.gov/pdf/brochures/p51903.pdf

            Since the TTB is far behind the curve as far as beer style designations (see http://www.ttb.gov/beer/chapter4.pdf ) and there is no "Berliner Weisse" style recognized, DFH apparently went with the general "malt beverage" legal term.

            As Jim suggests above, as a "neo-Berliner Weisse" (DFH's terminology), "The beer is tart due to the presence of lactic acid..." http://www.dogfish.com/brewings/Brewp...

            1. re: JessKidden
              RosemaryHoney Dec 3, 2008 07:51 AM

              DFB labels FP "malt beverage" so that it can be sold in Texas. Texas state law requires that any malt beverage over 4% abv is labeled as such (only under 4% can be labeled "beer"). Some larger breweries make labels especially for distribution in Texas and surrounding region (like Bud), but smaller distributors who wish to sell there without printing alternate labels will usually just print "malt beverage" rather than "beer".

              Yeah, we suspect it might be the lactic acid, although he's a huge consumer of specialty and rare beers, and hasn't had problems with other, more traditional Berliners...or with his own Berliners...but anyway, my point to the OP was that he could have had a beer that he's never had before and had some sort of reaction with it that lead to a hangover when he otherwise wouldn't have had one.

              1. re: RosemaryHoney
                JessKidden Dec 3, 2008 10:29 AM

                "DFB labels FP "malt beverage" so that it can be sold in Texas. Texas state law requires that any malt beverage over 4% abv is labeled as such (only under 4% can be labeled "beer")."

                While I'll agree with you that Texas' strange definitions of "beer" "ale" and "malt liquor" screw up a lot of beer labels*, in this case, the Festina Peche, at 4.5% ABV is low enough to be labeled "beer". The actual Texas rule is:

                (15) "Beer" means a malt beverage containing one-half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume and not more than four percent of alcohol *by weight* (emphasis mine), and does not include a beverage designated by label or otherwise by a name other than beer.

                page 2

                So, the Texas beer laws (similar to many other states with alcohol level prohibitions) list the alcohol content "by weight", not "by volume". 4% ABW is equal to 5% ABV, due to alcohol being lighter than water. http://www.beertutor.com/tools/abv_ca...

                Also, Texas seems to agree with the Feds on the usage of the "malt beverage" term, calling "beer" "ale" and "malt liquor" by the generalized term "malt beverage" as noted above and in this definition:

                (12) "Ale" or "malt liquor" means a malt beverage containing more than four percent of alcohol by weight.

                * (Like the one I'm currently drinking- Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner that says "ALE" in small letters- obviously to please the Texas ABC).

                1. re: JessKidden
                  RosemaryHoney Dec 4, 2008 08:43 AM

                  Very interesting...I actually got my info from the Dogfish Head Brewery tour, where they told us they put "malt beverage" on several of their labels so that they could sell in Texas and then gave us the explanation I repeated above...but I guess they hadn't done the proper calculations!

      2. w
        wc2473 Nov 24, 2008 05:28 AM

        Dirty lines to the tap are a possibility.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wc2473
          lcool Nov 24, 2008 06:09 AM

          Very likely.Many bars etc don't even clean them at the MINIMUM recommended frequency.
          Not very hard to determine is you sit close to the system.A tell-tale stale,sour,dirty yeasty
          mouldy bread odor is a hint about sanitation practices.I have also been places where the system just reeked of ???? nasty.

          1. re: lcool
            Whosyerkitty Nov 28, 2008 05:21 PM

            More "carbonation" that made it hit your bloodstream faster. Like some people have with champagne v. still wines.

            1. re: Whosyerkitty
              JessKidden Dec 3, 2008 02:46 PM

              Most draught beer is kegged at lower carbonation levels than the same beer in bottles and cans. Plus, the act of pouring a glass of beer from the tap releases excess C02, something that won't happen when drinking directly from a bottle or can (which some folks do, especially when "out").

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