People With An Allergy To Hops May Think They Are Just Allergic To Beer

Some people cannot drink beer because they have a hop allergy where hops are used to produce this popular drink.

What Are Hops?

Hops look similar to small pine cones. The flowers are dried before being used in beer production. The pollen from hops causes an allergic reaction in some people.

They are sometimes referred to as bitters because they combine with the sugar from grain to give beer its balanced, characteristic flavor. Hops are added toward the end of the beer-making process.

People with an allergy to hops may believe that they are allergic to beer. In reality, the pollen from the hops causes an allergy in some people.

What Are Hops Allergy Symptoms?

A hop allergy is usually fairly mild, but it can cause a lot of discomfort. Some of the hops allergy symptoms can include a skin rash or a sinus problem with swelling, discomfort and pain. It can also result in a runny nose, sneezing, or congestion after drinking beer.

People who work in beer production sometimes develop an allergy to hops. They may have trouble breathing while on the job. When they touch hops, they may develop a rash on their hands or arms. Someone with a severe hops allergy would not be able to continue working with this plant that causes an allergic reaction every day.


Other hops symptoms are hives, facial swelling, and swelling of the mouth and tongue. These are signs of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening whole-body reaction that causes trouble breathing and swelling in the throat. Emergency medical treatment is required if you or someone you are with has these symptoms.

Can You Be Allergic to Hops?

A Hops allergy is caused from hop pollen, which can affect people who drink beer. Some people say that certain beer brands that use high quantities of hops are more likely to cause allergic reactions. You can take non-drowsy Benadryl or another antihistamine to relive some of the allergic reaction symptoms if this happens to you.

How can an allergic reaction to hops be avoided?

The only way to avoid having an allergic reaction to hops is to avoid foods containing hops. If you develop sinus problems or other allergic reactions after drinking beer, you are probably not allergic to beer but to the hops in it.

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