Having acid reflux (GERD or heartburn) is quite painful, but it can also cause us to miss out on some of our favorite joys, such as enjoying alcoholic beverages that are typically high in acidity.
But there are many types of lighter beers that won’t make your acid reflux worse. And it’s not a niche in the industry, either, as the acidity of the beer is hugely determined by how it was brewed and with what ingredients.
For example, longer fermentation times cause beer to lose some of its acidity. Moreover, beers brewed with ingredients like barley malt and Pilsner malts tend to be less acidic. That’s why barley malt lagers are a good example of a beer for acid reflux.
So, beer drinkers, gather around as we explore the 13 best beers for acid reflux!
- Pilsner Urquell
- Samuel Adams Boston Lager
- Dovetail Vienna Lager
- Sierra Nevada Barrel-Aged Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale
- Yuengling Traditional Lager
- Heater Allen Pils
- Dos Equis Lager Especial
- Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Insanity
- Firestone Walker Pivo Pilsner
- Brooklyn Lager
- Bell’s Brewery Third Coast Old Ale
We’re starting with the spiritual ancestor of all Pilsner-style malts that we know today: the original and classic Pilsner Urquell.
Pilsner Urquell Brewery (Plzeňský Prazdroj in Czech) was founded in 1842 in Pilsen (Plzeň) in the Czech Republic, where it still resides today. Now, if you’re wondering about the name variants, it’s because this lager was popularized in Germany, where the Czech names were commonly translated.
Today, the Pilsner Urquell retains its iconic subtly bitter flavor with hints of caramel, lemon, flowers, and bread. And thanks to its lower alcohol content of 4.5% and the pilsner-style malts used in the brewing process, it’s a gentle lager on the stomach.
One of the best beers for people with acid reflux is the Samuel Adams Boston Lager. This popular and highly-acclaimed barley malt lager may not be the oldest player in the field, but it’s certainly left its mark in its almost 40-year-old career in the American market.
The Boston Lager is made with a two-row barley malt blend and German noble hops directly from Bavarian farmers, making it one of the best German-style barley malt lagers for many people, let alone with acid reflux.
On top of that, there’s the 5% ABV that makes it feel light, allowing you to enjoy its sweet flavor with hints of caramel and honey.
The Vienna Lager by Dovetail Brewery is another good option for beer drinkers with acid reflux, thanks to the Vienna malt used in the brewing process and its moderately low alcohol content of 5.1%.
The Dovetail Vienna Lager is our recommended pick for people who don’t prefer prominent caramel and honey sweetness in other beers and would rather enjoy the well-balanced bitter hoppiness and crisp flavor of this one.
Barley lagers aren’t the only good beers for people with acid reflux, as Bigfoot Barleywine ale by Sierra Nevada Brewery is the first ale on our list.
As suggested by the title, the Bigfoot is a barley-based ale that’s aged in oak barrels during fermentation, which is a process similar to wine and whiskey production. So when you’re drinking it, you can feel the sweet hints of caramel and vanilla that you might feel in some wines, but the strong and bold bitterness of whiskey.
And despite being a very strong beer with a 9.6% ABV, it’s still an excellent ale for people with acid reflux. That is, if you can find it outside its January to April availability window.
5. Yuengling Traditional Lager
Although the Yuengling Traditional Lager is a bit darker than the pale malt lagers we’ve listed above, it’s a good acid-reflux beer if you prefer amber-colored beers.
This classic Pennsylvania-native lager is made with roasted caramel malt, which gives it an especially sweet taste with noticeable hints of caramel and toffee. But it’s still an enjoyably bitter beer with a 4.5% ABV.
If there’s a common theme among the beers we’ve picked for this list, it’s that pilsners tend to be among the better types for people with acid reflux. And here, we have another pilsner-style pale lager that pays homage to the popular beers in Germany and the Czech Republic.
The Pils is heavily inspired by the Pilsner Urquell, which is why it takes similarly long brewing times of up to eight weeks per batch.
However, the Pils is a bit darker and crispier with a slightly sweet flavor. But with a closely moderate ABV of 5%, the Heater Allen Pils is an excellent lager for acid reflux.
7. Dos Equis Lager Especial
The Dos Equis Especial is a special entry (no pun intended) on our list, even though it’s yet another pilsner-style lager beer.
This is because the Lager Especial is made very differently from other pilsners, focusing on using spring water and very specific choices of hop during the brewing process.
As for the brewing itself, the Lager Especial is made in Mexico by combining two-row blended malt with pilsner malt to produce a refreshingly sweet and crisp beer with a low alcohol content of 4.2% ABV.
8. Weyerbacher Brewing Co. Insanity
For people who like the absolute strongest beers on the market, check out the Insanity beer by Weyerbacher Brewing Company, which boasts a super high ABV of 13.3%.
Despite this, the Weyerbacher Insanity won’t affect your acid reflux, unlike other alcoholic beverages in this ABV range.
That’s because Insanity is barley wine that’s aged for weeks in whiskey barrels. This refines the flavor of the beer and adds hints of oak, whiskey, and vanilla, allowing you to enjoy one of the best sour beers for acid reflux.
9. Firestone Walker Pivo Pilsner
The Firestone Walker Pivo is another pilsner that made it to our list thanks to its low acidity levels and excellent flavor, which make it a good choice for beer enjoyers with acid reflux.
Unlike most other pilsners on this list, the Pivo is an Italian-style pilsner that focuses on the strong hop presence, with hints of the citrusy bitterness of lemongrass and spice.
With a 5.3% ABV, the Firestone Walker Pivo is a moderate beer with a notable floral aroma.
10. Brooklyn Lager
Brooklyn Lager uses Munich-style malt to produce an amber beer with a complex flavor profile, a captivating aroma, and a low enough acidity to avoid problems with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The Brooklyn Lager has a refreshing bitter taste with sweet hints of caramel and a floral hop aroma, thanks to the old British technique of dry-hopping, which involves feeding the beer fresh hop as it matures during fermentation.
Regardless, the long maturation process and the malts used during brewing make this an excellent beer for people with acid reflux.
11. Bell’s Brewery Third Coast Old Ale
Bell’s Brewery Third Coast Old Ale is a darker malt-based barley wine that’s unique for its amber-red color and its complex aromas and flavor profile.
The Third Coast Old Ale is certainly a bitter beer, but it won’t trigger your acid reflux (GERD) because of its long aging process and moderate acidity, all in a 10.2% ABV bottle.
Because of the delicate brewing process, the Third Coast Old Ale offers one of the most complex tastes on this list. It’s difficult to describe it briefly, but it combines the subtle sweetness of dark fruits and caramel with bread, hop, and profiles of bourbon and rye.
Overall, it’s a very interesting beer and definitely worth a shot.
That’s everything for our roundup of the best beers for acid reflux! Before you head to the store and grab the first beer you find on this list, remember that your mileage may vary depending on numerous factors, such as your specific case of acid reflux, what caused it, your genetics, and more.
So, while these beers are better for most people with acid reflux (GERD) as they won’t make it worse due to their low acidity levels, you may get different results based on your special case.
But again, this would be quite the exception. So, if you’re craving a refreshing beer, check out one of our recommendations above and see how well they work for you!