Help me find out why I'm allergic to certain beers
September 4, 2004 5:53 PM   Subscribe

So, I've become allergic to certain beers. I'm trying to narrow down what it is that makes my eustachian tubes inflamed within 10 minutes of drinking one fine beverage.

I'm pretty sure that it is hoppy beers that cause the problem. Are there specific beers that I should try because of their inherent hops type to narrow down the cause? I'm hoping that it is a specific hop varietal. I can only drink so many Stouts and Pilsners.
posted by machaus to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
maybe you should see a professional. They can do specific testing, and it doesn't seem like something I'd want to figure out by trial and error.
posted by bob sarabia at 5:58 PM on September 4, 2004

I'll endure the symptoms if I can find an answer. It's in the name of science!
posted by machaus at 6:00 PM on September 4, 2004

I bet if you drink microbrews, you could call the brewmaster after having an allegic reaction and ask about the ingredients. After a few reactions and phone calls, you might find your culprit.
posted by cmonkey at 6:12 PM on September 4, 2004

If you can drink Pilsener, then it surprises me that you think it's hops - Pilsener is highly hopped.

If neither stout nor pilsener sets you off, my guess is that its actually some kind of colouring or other adulterant.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:07 PM on September 4, 2004

If you're drinking Coors/Bud/crap-style beers, your allergy could be damn near anything: those beers are just loaded with all sorts of additives.

I suggest you start off with microbrews, and specifically those that lay claim to following the Bavarian Purity Laws. They contain just four ingredients, and no additives: barley, hops, malt, and yeast. And water, too, I suppose.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:40 PM on September 4, 2004

i've a natural aversion to hoppy beers (mostly because they taste like piss to me) so i'd suggest trying some lambic, of course there's also ciders (i'm a big fan of woodchuck amber, though i'd also recommend ciderjack (east coast), magners (irish), and hornsby). There's also hard lemonades which are fantastique on hot days. And of course there's a whole word of hard liquor out there. ciders, lambics, etc are typically more difficult to find (typically ciders are usually just available in fruit flavors (pear typically) which i wouldn't recommend), but they're worth the price.
posted by NGnerd at 7:56 PM on September 4, 2004

five fresh fish: The Bavarian Purity Law says a beer can have only barley, hops, yeast, and water (yeast was added after the original law was written, since they didn't know about yeast way back when). "Malt" just refers to a grain that has been, well, malted (wetted and then dried). Barley is the most common malt in beer.

I'd also check websites of small breweries you have access to, since most of them will list the type of hops and what not they have in their beer. It may possibily be yeast, since different beers use different strains of yeast. Does bottle-conditioned vs. non seem to make a difference? But, I'd talk to an allergist pretty soon, at least, if you can't figure it out.
posted by skynxnex at 8:23 PM on September 4, 2004

My bad. I was reciting from memory and bolloxed it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:33 PM on September 4, 2004

PS: if you're convinced it's hops, Pilsener style beers use Saaz and Hallertau.

Also, which beers specifically set you off or don't? Name them, that might help us identify a common factor.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:39 AM on September 5, 2004

If cloudy sediment doesn't bother you, you may want to try Coopers. No preservatives or additives, and safe for vegans (I hear).

Might help you decide whether you're having a reaction to hops or some sort of additive.
posted by backOfYourMind at 5:51 AM on September 5, 2004

i'm not sure but i think it my be a by product from certain brewing processes. i agree with talking to a brewmaster, because i knew a guy who ran a microbrew with pales to bocks and i bet he'd know.
some of the triple bocks can be like chocolate.
i'd get a selection of finer brands like guiness to harp to see if there is a stout to pale corollation
but because allergies are cumulative i wouldn't experiment too much.
i use to love kiwis but after a week and a half of a 12 for a dollar sale, i ended up becoming allergic to that tenth kiwi.
i used eleven to prove it and gave to give 12 away.
*sighs about the kiwi free life"
posted by ethylene at 2:07 PM on September 5, 2004

Strongly hopped beers trigger my migraines; Sam Adams' Hallertau hops are the worst offenders by far.

The least migraine-o-genic beer I have ever tried has been Rolling Rock. You might want to give it a try.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:23 PM on September 5, 2004

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