Acid reflux issues with IPAs?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Iemolo, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Iemolo

    Iemolo Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2015

    I'm new to BA so forgive me if this is a "dead horse" of a discussion. I'm a big fan of hoppy flavors, but I've found that many of the recent IPA's send my acid reflux into overdrive. I'm good with lagers, pilsners, stouts (non coffee or choc), saisons, but most ales in general are not my friend. Does anyone else have a similar problem or have any insight to share? Is it a function of the hops, the type of yeast, spice notes, or something else altogether? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!!
    hommeside2 likes this.
  2. denverbeerguy

    denverbeerguy Initiate (0) May 10, 2013 Colorado

    Hey there. May I ask if you would consider yourself "overweight?" I personally didn't have any acid reflux issues until I got heavily involved in craft beer and gained about 30 pounds. I have been healthier as of late and lost that 30 pounds and surprise! No more heartburn.

    Other than that you are drinking something that is extremely acidic (the bitterness literally comes from "alpha acids") so I wouldn't be surprised if they cause issues for some people similar to coffee and acidic juices.
  3. Alexmc2

    Alexmc2 Aspirant (240) Jul 29, 2006 Massachusetts

    Could be the carbonation levels combined with the higher alcohol content? I have acid reflux myself, which is pretty well controlled with medication. If I don't use it consistently though, alcohol bothers me quite a bit in general.
  4. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (861) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)

    Do you have a balanced diet? Beer used to give me acid reflux all the time until I improved my diet.
    rtrasr and PsilohsaiBiN like this.
  5. Uniobrew31

    Uniobrew31 Zealot (503) Jan 16, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Nugget Nectar, not an IPA but hoppy none the less, definitely gives me heart burn.
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,378) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    High bitterness/alpha acids can do it to me, sometimes, along with high ABV. I have decided DIPAs are not good for GIRD.

    I now avoid sours, those are major triggers
  7. lucasj82

    lucasj82 Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2009 Indiana

    I got this every once in awhile when I got into IPAs. Could only have 2-3 before acid reflux started, but after a few months never had the issue again.

    So my solution was to drink the problem away. :grinning:
    hommeside2 likes this.
  8. Neverdie7

    Neverdie7 Initiate (151) Jun 7, 2008 Wisconsin

    Ya some bother me more then others. The really "spicy" ones bother me but the malty ones like DFH 90 min are okay so I try and stick to them. Go to the doc and get yourself on some Omeprozole. The stuff is a godsend for me. I hardly ever get any reflux anymore since I started taking it. Good luck!
  9. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,360) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Acidity can be a major trigger for acid reflex. I'd assume hops and their alpha acids are acidic.
  10. jefeld

    jefeld Initiate (0) Mar 31, 2010 Illinois

    i was drinking a lot of sour ales right before bed at least twice a week. i dont have typical heart burn, but was starting to get symptoms in my voice, and some swallowing discomfort. turns out there is silent reflux, where you don't get the chest burn but it can easily leak into your throat area. anyone else ever get this? I'm giving up all alcohol for a few weeks to see how it does, i have a feeling it will get better.
  11. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,500) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana

    I resemble that remark!
    Dando274 and denverbeerguy like this.
  12. msscott1973

    msscott1973 Devotee (406) Dec 28, 2013 North Carolina

    No trouble with IPAs but have had some ambers give me heartburn.
  13. DangleBerries

    DangleBerries Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2013 Illinois

    It used to bother me as well. When I plan on drinking really hoppy beers I will pop a Zantac or a tums prior to drinking. It works well for me
  14. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (5,057) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota

    Keep a log on which ones cause the problem and which ones do not. Also note the conditions when the acid reflux conditions arise - is it before or after you eat, etc. Does the temperature make a difference? Does the level of malt make a difference? Are you drinking out of a bottle or a glass? A bottle of beer contains 2.5 - 4 times it volume in carbon dioxide and if you are drinking it out of a bottle or can that carbon dioxide has nowhere to go but into you stomach and the bloating might be causing the problem. I don't think the alpha acids in hops would raise the pH level enough - orange juice or lemonade would have more acidity. It might be the carbonation. I used to get an acid stomach when I drank water but would not get the same thing drinking juice, milk, coffee or beer.
  15. jcos

    jcos Initiate (194) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    I get occasional acid reflux from apple juice and only apple juice - so I don't drink it. Stick to what doesn't bother you. Keep it simple.
  16. 4DAloveofSTOUT

    4DAloveofSTOUT Poo-Bah (2,289) Nov 28, 2008 Illinois

    To be honest, alcohol is going to be the main cause of acid reflux that you are experiencing. Not just a specific beer style with the acceptation of very acidic wild beers(think adding even more acid to your stomach which contains hydrochloric acid which has a pH level of 1 which is an extremely acidic environment). People who experience the symptoms of acid reflux or GERD are taught by Doctors and Nurses to avoid both alcohol and caffeine because these irritate the upper and lower GI system.
  17. Iemolo

    Iemolo Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2015

    Thanks to everyone for their quick response! For background, I have dealt with reflux for about 20 years, but consider myself generally healthy, wi a good diet and normal weight. I am also currently taking Prilosec every day. Interestingly, I have been drinking a fair amount of Dogfishhead (mostly 90 & 120) without too much issue. Could the maltyness be helpful?
  18. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (1,589) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Not at all, but I will share this nugget of info with everyone. My bald cousin was drinking porters and stouts for years. I got him to switch over to IPAs and now he has a full head of hair. Cheers!
  19. kcp85

    kcp85 Initiate (93) Sep 7, 2012 Missouri

    Do yourself a favor and get some OTC Nexium. I have acid reflux but it works wonders(I've tried a dozen other OTC's). It's a little more expensive but one in the morning and I have no trouble with beer(barleywines would get me going for some reason), liquor or any spicy foods throughout the day. Good luck and hope you find an answer. You don't want to be afraid of delicious IPA's.
  20. Raj

    Raj Aspirant (266) Jun 25, 2014 Washington

    All alcohol promotes heartburn by relaxing the muscle between the esophagus and stomach (lower esophageal sphincter). It may be that IPAs cause more heartburn for you because they are may be higher alcohol content than the other styles you mentioned, or because of other factors (drinking before bed, eating behaviors) etc. Foods that trigger reflux symptoms (e.g. spicy foods, burgers etc) may not be the same ones that cause acid reflux (alcohol, caffeine, chocolate etc).

    This link (among others) maybe helpful
    Ranbot and tillmac62 like this.
  21. Tripel_Threat

    Tripel_Threat Poo-Bah (2,094) Jun 29, 2014 Michigan

    Pain is temporary, a complete beer checklist is forever.
  22. misternebbie

    misternebbie Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    I had issues, with IPA's and Stout's, in conjunction with my cigar smoking,got worse as I'm aging, quit smoking 6months ago and so far problem solved.
  23. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,649) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    I've heard people say that before, I get heartburn from sours
    etipton04 likes this.
  24. jstilwell

    jstilwell Aspirant (293) Oct 21, 2008 Massachusetts

    Ive had issues with all beer. Add some fresh ginger to your diet. Works well
  25. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (1,758) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina

    Step up your Nexium game, bro.
    FogDishHead likes this.
  26. zac16125

    zac16125 Poo-Bah (1,758) Jan 26, 2010 South Carolina

    To answer your question seriously, I have not had this issue with IPAs or most other beers (excluding beers with certain adjuncts like peppers). However, wine gives me horrible reflux. Whiskey is also bad.
    CraftBeerLos likes this.
  27. Ipaupaweallpa

    Ipaupaweallpa Initiate (174) Dec 26, 2014 Alabama

    Take a shot or half ofApple cider vinegar kills the acid.
  28. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Devotee (469) Aug 18, 2012 New York

    I was diagnosed with acid reflux in February of 2014. I was having serious problems with my chest, stomach and intestines. I had this crazy notion that it might be a tumor (stupid me). Found out I have a really hard time with acid, specifically acid from tomatoes and citric fruits. Had to change my diet drastically, even though I already had a very healthy diet. My doctor also mentioned that alcohol and chocolate are also irritants. I had to give up some of my favorite foods, but I wasn't ready to give up my delicious beers. Hell, my family grows tomatoes and honestly used to eat them just with a bit of salt and pepper like an apple.

    What I have seemed to notice is that as long as you take your medicine (I take the prescription Pepcid - Famotodine) on a daily basis and don't overdo it with acidic foods, beer shouldn't really hurt your acid reflux. I have noticed exceptions: Sours, anything with coriander and anything with spices. IPAs have not given me a problem yet (thankfully because they are my favorite style).

    I stopped drinking OJ, and eating any citric fruits. Pizza is out of the question, as is pasta with tomato sauce, and anything spicy with hot sauce, buffalo sauce, etc. EVOO will become your new best friend.

    EDIT: I Should mention that I have a great diet, workout regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  29. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (418) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

    That only really happens to me if I drink a bit more than what I should have.
  30. akrz47

    akrz47 Initiate (0) May 31, 2014 Massachusetts

    Lately I've gotten that a few times at night after I've drank too much. One time it woke me up writhing in pain. I haven't gained weight, eat healthy, and am in shape, so I'm not sure what triggered it all of a sudden. Figured it was due to the drinking somehow but wasn't sure what. Will definitely monitor if any specific types of beers trigger it.
  31. Crackerbarrel

    Crackerbarrel Initiate (87) Feb 10, 2014 New York

    Could also be that IPA/s or DIPA's might have more alcohol than the other styles you are drinking, especially once you starting drinking more than a few in one sitting.

    Whenever I get heartburn its usually b/c of the amount of alcohol I consumed, and not necessarily what I was drinking.
  32. awinkro

    awinkro Initiate (148) Oct 15, 2008 Texas

    Drink more water...7.0pH. Beer: 3.8-4.1. There are also some bottled water companies that release water with pH of 8.0. Helps with the sours.
  33. Mortarforker

    Mortarforker Devotee (463) Oct 27, 2004 Texas

    Back when I had acid trouble I would eat two tums and drink half a glass of water before I started drinking beers.It stopped my heartburn issues,hope that helps you out.
  34. bmony26

    bmony26 Initiate (112) May 2, 2012 Wisconsin

    I love sour ales but I can't drink too much otherwise the lactic acid bothers my acid reflux.
  35. OldRickSputin

    OldRickSputin Initiate (176) Jan 7, 2014 Illinois

    It's typically psychologically induced. Realize that and it will cease.
  36. sixa66

    sixa66 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2015 Florida

    Never had a problem with IPAs but sours usually give me a problem. I can do one sour but any more than that it bothers me when I try to go to sleep.
    redbarnbikes likes this.
  37. Plasmafunk

    Plasmafunk Initiate (164) Jan 9, 2015 California

    Everyone is different when it comes to reflux. Alcohol, big carb loads, spicy foods, caffeine are common offenders.
  38. woemad

    woemad Poo-Bah (2,828) Jun 8, 2003 Washington

    Bad acid reflux runs in my family, but I've been pretty lucky. My younger brother has had it for years. Mine showed up about 3-4 years ago, but after I lost about 70 lbs it seems to have mostly gone away, but I'm sure I'll get it back. Mainly I just have to avoid eating anything rich in tomato or chocolate late in the evening. The only beer that has ever given me heartburn was Hamm's, a beer I have no trouble doing without!
  39. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,378) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Most beer is in the 4 to 4.6 pH range. Tap water is >7 pH to preserve the pipes. If pure wate is exposed tor air, the pH drops as CO2 disolves in and creates carbonic acid.
  40. jera1350

    jera1350 Poo-Bah (2,170) Dec 15, 2007 Minnesota

    This Habanero Sculpin I'm drinking is definitely doing something to my insides.