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5 Things You Believe About Beer That Aren't Actually True

Can you really not drink beer before liquor? We’ve got the answer.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

There are likely a few adages you are used to when it comes to drinking beer—usually in an attempt to dull the effects of a hangover. However, while many of these claims seem reasonable for beer drinkers, most of them are myths with absolutely no scientific backing to prove them true.

We've decided to dive deep into a few of the popular claims made by beer drinkers, debunking the myths and providing you with the truth when it comes to enjoying your favorite brew—and avoiding that nasty hangover the morning after. Here's what we found, and for even more beer tips, We Tasted the Most Popular Beers & This Is the Best!

"Beer before liquor, never been sicker."

summer drinking beer

Even the responding jingle, "liquor before beer, you're in the clear," is considered a myth when it comes to drinking. A study from the American Journal of Nutrition took a closer look at the claim and found that hangovers were not made bearable based on the order of your drinks—even if you stuck to one kind of alcohol throughout the evening. While the jingle can serve as a good warning for people that are drinking in excess, there is no scientific proof that this particular claim actually works for avoiding the symptoms of a hangover.

"Dark beers are stronger than light beers."


Although light beers are lighter in color and body, that does not mean dark beers are always stronger in comparison. It's important to take a look at the alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage of the beverage to determine if it is, in fact, stronger. For example, Guinness may seem stronger due to its dark color, but the beer only contains 4.2% ABV. In contrast, Budweiser may seem like the lighter option, but actually contains more alcohol with a 5% ABV.

"Drinking excess beer results in a beer belly."

skunked beer

It's easy to point to a bloated-looking belly and claim it to be a "beer belly"—especially if you like to drink. However, beer alone cannot cause a belly to form. It's a combination of excess caloric intake (especially empty-calorie foods, aka foods that are high in calories but are not satiating), unhealthy habits, and a sedentary lifestyle that will cause excess fat to accumulate in the midsection.

In particular, accumulating belly fat is actually known as visceral fat—a type that sits between your skin and your abdominal wall and can cause major health risks if you carry too much of it. Here are 5 Eating Habits for Decreasing Visceral Fat That Really Work.

"Beer should always be served ice cold."

draft beer size

If you're one who constantly serves beer ice-cold because you're afraid of it smelling "skunky" from getting warm, here's some good news: You don't have to worry about it too much.

Beer is surprisingly resilient and can stand temperature "cycling"—aka going from warm to cold at different times before being opened. In fact, some beers should be served at different temperatures for maximum satisfaction—some even at room temperature, according to the Home Brewers Association.

"Skunky" beer is a result of a beer that has been exposed to light and has been sitting out for a while in the sun. The beer has undergone a chemical reaction due to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, causing it to smell skunky.

As for unopened beers, the temperature changes won't matter much, and you can enjoy a beer at the correct temperature (like room temperature!) without worrying about it smelling "skunky." Just don't leave it out in the sun for too long!

"Draft beer gives you a hangover."

beer to stomach

Some claim that drinking beer from a tap can cause a worse hangover compared to a beer served in a sealed bottle or can. The claim is due to worries about the tap itself, that unintended bacteria getting into your beer from the line can impact the severity of your hangover later.

However, many who have researched the claim have found it to be a myth. Journalists from KPRC 2 in Houston, Texas investigated and found no correlation between draft beers and the severity of hangovers. Hangovers occur from a myriad of factors including dehydration, stomach irritation, inflammation, interruptions in digestion, and much more. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol—no matter the type, or where it was sourced—will cause a hangover.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten