Can Beer Make You Sick?

If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and for a good reason! It’s refreshing, flavorful, and relatively low in alcohol content. However, as with any food or drink, there are ups and downs to consuming beer. So, can beer make you sick, and if so, how?

Can Beer Make You Sick?

Yes, beer can make you sick if you drink too much or have specific allergies. Drinking beer in moderation is generally safe; however, overdoing it can lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. Additionally, some people are allergic to certain ingredients in beer, such as hops or barley. If you have an allergy to these ingredients, drinking beer can cause nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

A clear glass filled with foamy beer was placed on a brown wooden table outside of the house

In most cases, alcohol irritates the esophagus, stomach, and intestines, leading to nausea and vomiting. In the stomach, beer increases gastric acid production, which can inflame the stomach lining and lead to puking or ulcers. In the intestines, alcohol can cause inflammation and blockages, leading to abdominal pain.

It is vital to remember that everyone reacts to alcohol differently. Some people can drink beer all night without ill effects, while others get sick after just a few sips. Ensure you know your limits, and never drink more than you feel comfortable with.

How Much Is Too Much?

As a beer lover, you probably want to know how much is too much. Most people argue that alcohol tolerance varies from person to person and that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Fortunately, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has outlined the factors that affect alcohol tolerance. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • Weight: Heavier people tend to have a higher tolerance to alcohol because they have more water in their bodies. This dilutes the alcohol, making it less potent.
  • Body fat percentage: People with a higher body fat percentage tend to have a lower tolerance to beer. This is because fat does not absorb alcohol as well as water.
  • Drinking experience: People who drink regularly have developed a tolerance to alcohol and can drink more without getting sick. This is due to a phenomenon known as “cross-tolerance.”
  • Gender: Gender plays a role in alcohol tolerance, with men tending to have a higher tolerance than women. Men can take as much alcohol as women before reaching the legal limit of intoxication.

What Can Make Beer Go Bad?

A good beer is a refreshing, flavorful beverage that people of all ages can enjoy. However, beer can go bad if not handled correctly or stored right. This can cause the beer to develop off-flavors that make you sick or taste bad. Here are a few things that can make beer go bad:

  • Light: Light is one of the most damaging things to beer. Exposure to light causes the beer to develop a “skunky” flavor that can make you sick. The skunky flavor is caused by a chemical reaction between light and hops and is a common problem with mass-produced beers stored in clear or light-colored bottles.
  • Temperature: Beer should be stored at cool, consistent temperatures. Exposure to extreme heat or cold can damage the beer, causing it to develop off-flavors.
  • Oxygen: Too much oxygen can cause the beer to go bad by causing it to become oxidized. This gives the beer a stale, papery flavor that is unappetizing.

How to Avoid Getting Sick From Beer

Now that you know beer can make you sick, you’re probably wondering how to avoid getting sick from it. The best way to avoid getting sick from beer is to drink it in moderation and store it properly. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

A woman with short hair drinking on a clear mug filled with beer wears a black shirt seated outside the pub
  • Drink in moderation: Ensure you know your limits and never drink more than you’re comfortable with.
  • Alternate Your beer with water: Alternate your beer with water to stay hydrated and help your body process the alcohol.
  • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach: Eating before or while you drink will help slow down the absorption of alcohol.
  • Store your beer properly: Store your beer in a cool, dark place to avoid exposure to light and extreme temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Get Sick From One Beer?

Yes, you can get sick from one beer if you are allergic to hops or if you have a low tolerance to alcohol. Even a tiny amount of beer can trigger an allergic reaction in some people.

What Will Settle My Stomach After Drinking?

A neutralizing agent such as antacids helps to settle the stomach after drinking. Antacids work by neutralizing the acids in the stomach that can cause vomiting and nausea.


Enjoying a fresh, cold beer is one of life’s simple pleasures. However, it’s important to remember that beer can make you ill if you’re not careful. Ensure you drink moderately and store your beer correctly to avoid getting sick and ruining your fun. Cheers!