ALLERGIES Food Allergy

Beer Allergy – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More


A beer allergy is an immune reaction to specific ingredients in beer. Malt barley and brewer’s yeast may be used, as well as hops or other flavorings. True beer allergies are uncommon, and you may have a beer intolerance.

Have you ever noticed the symptoms of vomiting, itching, or redness on the skin after consuming beer? If yes, you may have an allergic reaction to beer. This article will help you to learn about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of this specific allergy.

Beer intolerance or allergy to beer can occur due to sensitivity to a beer ingredient. Beer contains allergens such as gluten, histamine, sulfites, and yeast. True beer allergies are rare.

Beer Allergy

Although water is the main ingredient in beer, numerous other ingredients can irritate the skin. You are most likely allergic to a specific beer ingredient if you have a beer allergy.

The following ingredients may be present in beer, depending on the brand: barley, malt, or other grains (e.g., wheat and sorghum). Hops from a beer, Yeast, Coloring, flavoring, and preservatives are all additives.

Beer Allergy Symptoms

If you are allergic to beer, you will most likely experience symptoms similar to those seen with other allergies. Beer allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on allergy severity. This includes the following:

  • Flushing
  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Hives
  • Chest tightness

If your symptoms are mild, you may have a food sensitivity rather than an allergy. This is also known as food intolerance. It’s unpleasant but not an immune system reaction and, therefore, not as serious.

More severe symptoms include shortness of breath, swelling of the throat or tongue, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can happen with any allergy. If you notice a rash, shortness of breath, or panic, seek emergency medical attention.

Mugs of beer in male and female hands, give the concept of beer allergy.

Causes of Beer Allergy:

Even though water is the primary ingredient in beer, numerous other ingredients could be causing your symptoms. You are most likely allergic to a specific ingredient in beer if you have an allergic reaction. The following ingredients may be present, depending on the brand:

  • Hops
  • Assorted yeast colorings
  • Flavors
  • And preservatives malted barley or grains like wheat and sorghum

Food allergies affect 2 to 3% of adults in the United States. Food allergies affect about 5% of children, but many outgrow them by the time they reach adulthood. A small 2014 study of Chinese people with beer allergies discovered that sensitivity to sorghum or sorghum malt was the most common cause.

Wheat allergies affect nearly 1.2 percent of adult Americans. According to Trusted Source, it is one of the top eight food allergens. Beer isn’t the only problem if you’re allergic to a specific grain. If you consume other foods containing that allergen, you will also experience symptoms.

Alcohol Intolerance Vs. Beer Allergy

You may have an alcohol intolerance if you feel ill after drinking alcohol but do not have symptoms at other times. Alcohol intolerance is a genetic condition, not a reaction to beer’s ingredients. It means your body is unable to break down alcohol effectively. Symptoms can appear quickly after consuming alcohol. They may include the following:

  • Skin flushing
  • hives stuffy or runny nose
  • Asthma symptoms are exacerbated by nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure

Abstinence from alcohol is the only way to overcome alcohol intolerance.

If you have symptoms after drinking beer but not wine or other alcoholic beverages, you do not have alcohol intolerance. You’re probably allergic to or sensitive to one of the ingredients in that beer.


A healthcare provider will conduct a physical examination and gather information about your medical history and symptoms. They may also try to isolate the source of your symptoms by:

I’d like you to keep a food and symptom diary.

  • Conducting a skin test
  • Obtaining blood tests

When to see a doctor:

If you experience allergy symptoms after drinking beer, consult your doctor. They can tell you if you’re allergic to a specific beer ingredient. This will assist you in avoiding the ingredient in other products.

Allergy testing of the skin and blood should be able to determine or rule out your allergies. Your symptoms could also result from a beer or alcohol interaction with your medication. Inform your doctor if you are taking any medications or supplements.

If you’ve ever had tongue or throat swelling or difficulty breathing after drinking beer, you should avoid it until you see a doctor.


The only sure way to avoid beer allergy symptoms is to avoid beer. However, depending on the cause of your symptoms and whether you can identify the culprit, you may be able to find alternatives.

If you’ve recently discovered that you can’t drink beer without feeling sick, an allergy or intolerance could be to blame. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is the first step in resolving a problem. You may find that by testing, you can still enjoy a beer while avoiding an ingredient to which you are allergic.


Beer allergy or intolerance can occur due to sensitivity to a beer ingredient. Beer contains allergens such as gluten, histamine, sulfites, and yeast. Allergies are not the same as intolerances; allergies are immune responses, whereas intolerances are digestive responses.

Avoiding beer or eating the ingredients causing you problems is the best way to deal with a beer sensitivity or allergy.

If you have any questions regarding this article, you may contact us without any hesitation. Our team of experts is always available for your help and guidance.


Can you become allergic to beer all of a sudden?

While most food allergies develop during childhood, they can develop at any age.  A beer allergy can manifest itself seemingly out of nowhere.

What are the common symptoms if you are allergic to beer?

  • Running or stuffy nose and watery eyes
  • Redness on the skin
  • Hives
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What causes an allergy to beer?

An allergy and intolerance may occur due to sensitivity to the ingredients present in beer. Common allergens in beer include:

  • Histamines
  • Yeast
  • Gluten
  • Sulfites
  • Different flavors

Intolerance and allergies are two different things. Intolerance is a digestive response, whereas allergies are immune system response of the body.