After centuries of approaching balanced, drinkable beers, the industry suddenly staggered sideways in the 21st century. While big brands now have to fear for their existence, men with beards make a fortune with distinctive, bitter craft brews.
According to a new analysis, the business area could have been with us all along. The survey of 109 beer consumers in a blind test showed that a stronger perceived bitterness increases the attractiveness of beers. This is the opposite of most foods.
But is this jumping on the IPA bandwagon or are they really different from everyone else? Their survey results claim they are different – even risk takers. People who deal with spicy dishes, for example, also call themselves adventurers. But being adventurous can be relatively safe when the only real side effect is having difficult bowel movements, so self-identification can be a part of how people see themselves and also do it to show others. If you buy $ 300 of gear to rope down a cliff, you’re not really as adventurous as a soldier tying an L-seat with rope and walking down a cliff with bullets fired, but you’re one for folks who just play video games Thrill seekers.
Participants rated two pale ales – one with moderate bitterness (Founder’s Brewing Co) and one bitter (Troeg’s Perpetual Imperial Pale Ale) – and one lager – Budwesier –
Then they created a regression model to correlate the bitterness and personality traits. Yes, what social psychologists do when trying to find a “scientific” way to say that political liberals are smarter or conservatives are more charitable is sketchy, yes, but it is.
Participants also rated quinine, an anti-malarial agent, and the time-tested compound from the cinchona tree that makes tonic water bitter, and tetralone hop extract. They found that those who thought they were sensation seekers and preferred the bitterness of quinine had a higher likelihood of the troegs; but only in connection with each other.
So what does that really mean? Are you friends just bitter? No, but if you haven’t read this article you can tell them science says that if they don’t drink Budweiser, it is them. Bitterness in sensations may not have a real personality correlation, but it at least explains why people like IPAs.
Quote: Higgins, MJ, Bakke, AJ, & Hayes, JE (2020). Personality traits and the perception of bitterness influence the taste and consumption of pale ale beers. Food quality and preference, 86, 103994. doi: 10.1016 / j.foodqual.2020.103994