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Do you know what beer you're drinking?


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Drinkers Can't Judge a Beer by Its Taste, Study Finds


Tuesday, February 27, 2007


By Jeanna Bryner


Good beer is not something you should think about.


Knowing what's in a beer, or who made it, can taint your taste buds, a new study finds.


Past research has revealed that knowing the brand or other information about a product can lead to higher consumer ratings.


For instance, Coke is rated higher when consumed from a cup bearing the drink's logo compared with one that is unmarked.


Whether this conceptual information could affect the actual gustatory experience of drinking a Coke or certain type of coffee, for instance, has been a mystery.


Beer tasting


Leonard Lee of Columbia University in New York and his colleagues had 388 patrons of a pub taste-test two types of beer: a regular beer and the "MIT brew," which was the regular beer plus a few drops of balsamic vinegar.


The tasters were divided into three groups. One tasted the samples "blind," with no knowledge of the secret ingredient.


A second group found out about the vinegar before tasting the MIT brew.


The third group learned of the additive immediately after tasting the special brew, but before indicating a preference between the two beers.


The blind group preferred the MIT brew over the regular beer significantly more than either of the informed groups. Apparently, vinegar can improve a beer's taste, the scientists said.


The timing of information made a substantial difference in beer choice.


Patrons with prior knowledge of the ingredient showed a much lower preference for the MIT brew compared with those who learned of the vinegar after drinking it.


If the vinegar knowledge had acted as just another factor

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Drinkers Can't Judge a Beer by Its Taste, Study Finds


That's a whole bunch of bull!!! I went to a local brewery to take a tour. As they were showing us around their facility, they started to mention that they only use cans (mind you they pride themselves in being a great microbrew). The owner went on a 15 minute shhpeal about how nobody can taste the difference between a bottled beer and a canned brew, and how far superior cans are to bottles. I said that I GUARANTEE I can tell the difference just by smelling it let alone by the taste of it. He took me up on the challenge and proceeded to run to the store. He bought 2 six packs...one bottles and one cans of the same beer. We did a total of six tastes...first I smelled them and said "this is canned" or "this is bottled" and he took note...then I tasted and did the same thing. I missed none!!! On every count of smell and taste.


I brew beer so maybe I'm a little biased, but I know what I'm tasting...and I KNOW what I like.

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