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Low IBU Beers

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by copybingo, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. I've recently developed some massive headaches after drinking one or two high IBU beers. IPAs immediately come to mind. I'm trying to steer clear of them in an attempt to see if that's the case. Hate giving up the IPAs, but I hate the headaches more. What are some good, low IBU beers available on the east coast? Thanks in advance!
  2. Alextricity

    Alextricity Advocate (700) Michigan Jun 18, 2012

    Could be an allergy.
  3. Hottenroth from The Bruery comes in at 2 IBUs. I would assume most Berliner Weisses are low.
  4. drtth

    drtth Champion (860) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2007

    Yard's Brawler. You might also give the others from their variety pack a try (ESA, Philadelphia Pale Ale, and the English Style IPA) and see if any trigger the problem. It will help you narrow down if it really is the Hi IBUs or if you can tolerate some IBUs but not high IBUs.
    copybingo likes this.
  5. Brewdog's and Flying Dog's International Arms Race (brewed independently of each other, so there is one from each brewery) are both brewed with zero hops and have zero IBU.
  6. Midas Touch

    Edit: actually almost all of the ancient ales.
  7. Stone Levitation Ale
    Victory Lager
    Victory Prima Pils
    Troegs Sunshine Pils (should be out soon, as it's a summer release)
  8. atomic

    atomic Savant (415) Illinois Sep 22, 2009

    Abbey style ales typically come low in IBUs. Think 20s-30s. Goose island Pere Jacques is great one to try if you get it in your market. Its best aged a bit.

    There are also lots of stouts that don't top 50 IBUs. The Poet Oatmeal stout by New Holland is delicious, and a great go to stout. Breakfast stout clocks in at 60, so getting up there but its not crazy.

    Berliner Weiss beers are great too, though I don't know which you'd find in PN.

    If you don't want to give up IPAs, Founder's All Day IPA clocks in at only 42 IBUs.

    Also I think all the Unibroue ales are pretty low in IBUs. I love Don de Dieu and thats only 10.5 IBUs.
    fredmugs likes this.
  9. mattbk

    mattbk Savant (390) New York Dec 12, 2011

    uhh, what? this beer probably has more ibus than any pilsner on the planet. not that its not a good beer though...

    look for sour beers, berliner weisses are perfect. bacteria hate the antiseptic property of hops, thus most sour brewers try to steer away from hops/ibus. typically sour beers will max out at about 10 ibus.
  10. I was going to say the same thing about Unibroue. I think they are all under 30. But Belgian styles often have sugar, which is not good at preventing hangovers. Try Stone Levitation and work up your tolerance. If you are dependent on high flavor density like me, sours can be a good substitute for IPAs.
  11. Most things Belgian are fairly low ibu and quite delicious!
  12. atomic

    atomic Savant (415) Illinois Sep 22, 2009

    Oh yes, and sours. Good call. But sours are not for everyone. But Petrus Aged Pale is a great one.
  13. GuzzLah

    GuzzLah Savant (445) Illinois Mar 2, 2013

    Hops aren't known to give people headaches. However, fusel alcohols from beers fermented too warm are.

    Which IPAs gave you headaches?
  14. High IBUs = Typically High ABV... and your head feels funny after drinking high ABV beers?? Hmmm
  15. Swik

    Swik Savant (290) Indiana Oct 2, 2012

    Any kolsch? Haven't done any research but it just seems like a brew that has some decent flavor and low ibus
  16. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (435) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    Most Scottish ales are very low in hop and heavy on malt. Any Hefe would also do well.
  17. Nectar

    Nectar Savant (310) New Jersey Jan 17, 2013

    You're in pennsylvania, how about Yards Brawler? 12IBU and my favorite session beer.
  18. ledzeppelin4

    ledzeppelin4 Savant (365) Illinois May 18, 2011

    Besides ipas and iipas, pale ales, amber/red ales, and imperial stouts can have a fairly high ibu ratings. Every other style is fairly low though. (Also not sure how a high ibu would cause someone to have a headache, but whatever).
  19. Blue Point Toasted Lager is like... 20 or so IBU's.

    Tasty lager IMHO
  20. cavedave

    cavedave Champion (930) New York Mar 12, 2009

    I'm no doctor, but hops seems the least likely candidate to cause headache. Try gruits or other herb bittered beers and see.
  21. Chinon01

    Chinon01 Savant (440) Pennsylvania Jan 23, 2007

    Prima has gotta be 50 IBUs minimum.
    Starkbier likes this.
  22. mix in a water occasionally and report back
  23. Migraines...
  24. Pretty much all of them, unfortunately.
  25. Great idea. Hadn't thought of that.
  26. Really appreciate the help guys. I've got lots of good ideas and new beers to experience. Blessings to all.
  27. TruckinMack

    TruckinMack Initiate (5) Aug 5, 2014

    Sadly I realized years ago that I have hop allergies. (Sinus congestion and headaches.) Most of the year I can handle a single glass or a glass and a half of Brown ales, Porters or Stouts, but this varies by brewery. Newcastle Brown and Short's Bellaire Brown are favorites, as are most Vanilla Java Porters I've tried. I like flavor, so I keep looking for beer with an identity that does not rely on hops.

    To complicate the picture, in August and September my seasonal allergies kick in, and even low hopped beers flare me up. I've learned that mid August to early September to not drink any beer at all.

    I can easily cope by falling back on Bourbon and Scotch, so overall hardship is pretty low. Another favorite is hard cider, but it is a bit sweet, so I add a shot of rum which flattens the sweetness right out. This often knocks me for a loop so I have to remember to drink only one if I am driving. If I am not driving, two of these will put me to bed.

    My favorite beer seller says to try Noble (European) hopped beers because the European brewers learned through the centuries which hops were higher in allergens and which were not. I have not fully looked into this, but as I said Newcastle Brown is a favorite. Guinness does not bother me much, but it is not a favorite. (I'm going to Ireland next month and am looking forward to sampling Guinness in the land of its birth. I will also be sampling Smithwicks, Jamesons and Bushmills.)

    To go off topic, sort of, I think allergy issues are really interesting. In my case I developed seasonal allergies in my teens that were fairly mild until my late 30's. Now I pretty much need antihistamines for 6+ weeks or my eyes will water and run constantly. Chocolate allergies (mid 20's). Most anti-inflammatory medicines (mid 30's). Hops (late 40's). So far in my late 50's I have not noticed any new allergies. Maybe my allergies are a tad less sensitive now, but maybe I'm just way more proactive in avoiding problems.

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