Want That Beer You're Drinking to Taste Better? Change Your Music

Want That Beer You're Drinking to Taste Better? Change Your Music

You don't need better beer, just better tunes.

By Drew DiSabatino

From outdoor concerts to house parties, beer and music have a long and storied relationship. They’re like the Sam and Diane of beverages and entertainment. (Or maybe the Ross and Rachel? Anthropomorphizing beer and music gets tricky.)

It turns out though, at least according to one new study, that the relationship between brews and tunes may run even deeper than we first thought.

The study, due out this September from Food Quality and Preference, finds that the genre and style of music you listen to when enjoying a cold beer could actually have an impact on how you perceive its flavor and strength.

Researchers led by Dr. Felipe Carvalho of Vrije Universiteit Brussels gave a group of subjects at the city’s Music Instruments Museum (we’re guessing very willing subjects) a variety of pale and dark beers ranging from 4.5 to 8 percent ABV, and then played them various musical arrangements.

The results showed that when researchers played light, poppy music (think Disney songs) volunteers sensed a sweeter flavor in the beers. When bass-heavy songs were played volunteers reported that beers had a stronger bitter taste.

Perhaps this doesn’t fully explain why the Solo cup of beer at a Kid Rock concert tastes different than the bottle at your ska-loving neighbors' backyard BBQ, but it’s interesting nonetheless. The long and short of the study is that an individual can actually transfer his or her personal preferences or feelings about music to the taste of a beverage, which could in turn be reason enough for those in the service industry to lend larger consideration to the music and environments they create for customers.

It also means that if you're listening to crappy music, you may be affecting the way your guests enjoy themselves in more ways than one.  

The only way to prevent this? Purchase some beers and do a little “investigating” on your own.

Time to get crackin’.

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