Four to eight weeks after the cessation of alcohol intake, 70 alcoholics underwent gastric biopsies, gastric analysis, pancreozyminsecretin test, and liver biopsy. Biopsies revealed gastritis in 50% of body specimens and in 84% from the antrum. Correlation of biopsies with acid secretion revealed that maximal acid output (MAO) was 4.63 mEq/hr in atrophic gastritis, 22.40 mEq/hr in superficial gastritis and 26.97 mEq/hr in those with normal mucosa. There was no correlation between MAO and liver biopsy findings or pancreatic exocrine function. In 12 patients with gastritis studied serially during abstinence up to nine months, four showed increases in MAO which paralleled histological improvement. Our observations indicate that chronic alcohol ingestion is associated with an increased incidence of gastritis. In a significant percentage of these patients, mucosal recovery follows abstinence or adequate nutrition, or both.