Dark Beer vs. Light Beer

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 03, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Although I usually try to avoid gluten, I occasionally will have a few beers. I've never been tested for celiac so don't know if I'm gluten-intolerant but have noticed that when I have lighter-colored beers I tend to wake up the next day feeling bloated, like I have a sinus infection, and like I've had the tar beat out of me. When I drink darker beers, like stouts, however, I feel fine the next day and have very few reactions. Has anyone experienced anything similar?

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3 Answers



on June 09, 2013
at 05:05 AM

This has nothing to do with the color of the beer, rather the ingredients used to brew it. All beer is made of water, yeast and grain at it's most basic. It's quite possible the stouts you are drinking are made with a higher proportion of gluten-free grains (ie: oats) than lets say, a pilsner, which would be mostly wheat. There's also the consideration of how long the beer has been brewing: lagers are brewed at colder temperatures for a longer period of time, ales are brewed at higher temperatures for a shorter period of time. Consider that the longer a grain is fermenting, the more it changes, perhaps making it more easily digestible. Also consider for the future that the color of the beer has absolutely NOTHING to do with anything really, all it means is that the grains were malted more heavily, so please do not always assume that you won't react just because the beer is dark in color. My best guess is that it's the specific grains you're reacting to.

How do you feel when you eat grains? That's the best way to know if you're gluten intolerant, you really don't need a special test to tell you.


on May 05, 2013
at 02:28 PM

Maybe something to do with the hops? I know they're phytoestrogenic, so maybe that's the cause.


on May 03, 2013
at 06:52 PM

Yes I have similar experiences... If I drink Guinness no issues but when I drink big IPA's 7-9% abv I feel a water layer over my abdomen, love handles(I don't have love handles though), and legs. I also get edema around my ankles. This doesn't happen from 1 or 2 beers, usually when I'm drinking to get drunk off of beer does this happen.

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