Do you remember what type of alcohol was responsible for your first hangover? For many people, it was too much beer. So what’s the deal with that? Does beer give you a worse hangover than liquor? Does it matter if it’s light or brown? An IPA or a saison? Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between beer and hangovers.

No one is completely sure what causes hangover, but we know a big part of it has to do with dehydration. Hangover symptoms are a result of dehydration, and alcohol byproducts that your liver works to process. One of the reasons beer can give you such a horrid hangover is that most beers are high in a specific byproduct of alcohol called as congeners.

Essentially, congeners are impurities created during the fermentation process. It’s whatever is left in the beverage that isn’t ethanol. Different types of alcohols have different amounts of congeners—it’s entirely dependent on the fermentation process. In general, alcohol that is darker in color tends to have more congeners. For example, whiskey and bourbon are very high in congeners, while vodka is extremely low. This matters because congeners have been directly linked to hangover symptoms. The more congeners you consume, the worse your hangover is going to be.

So how many beers can you drink without getting a hangover? That’s dependent on a multitude of factors including how often you drink, what kind of beer you consumed, and yes, even your genetics. The only surefire way to avoid hangover is not to drink. However, for the days you do have one too many beers, the best thing you can do is hydrate and keep a packet of Intelligent Drinking’s Primer on your bedside table. To learn more about LAUNCH visit


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