As the ingestion of drug products with alcohol could have adverse effects on the release of drugs from dosage forms, it is important to understand the mechanisms underpinning the influence on drug release by evaluating the effect of alcohol-containing media on the behaviour of pharmaceutical excipients. In this work, the effect of hydroalcoholic media containing up to 40% v/v absolute ethanol was evaluated, employing both the regular (CR) and direct compression grades (DC) of hypromellose. X-ray microtomography (XµT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were used as complementary techniques in determining the influence of the media composition on the ability of the CR and DC polymers to form and evolve the gel layer that controls drug release. Particle and powder properties of the polymer were characterised to determine any relationship to performance in hydroalcoholic media. Triboelectrification results showed the CR grade formulation to charge electropositively whereas the DC grade charged electronegatively. The flow properties also showed the DC grade to have a superior flow as compared to its CR counterpart. Differences in particle morphology between the grades influenced charging and flow behaviour of the powders; however, it did not seem to impact significantly either on the mechanical strength or the drug release properties of the compacted formulation using the model drug propranolol HCl. XµT and MRI imaging were successfully used as complementary techniques in determining the gel layer/hydration layer thickness measurements as the layer developed, as well as following ingress of hydroalcoholic media and its impact on the dry core. The result showed that although differences were present in the gel layer thickness potentially due to differences in particle morphology, this also did not impact significantly on the dissolution process, especially in acidic and hydroalcoholic media.