Beer's additive best kept secret
It may not be a good idea to confuse beer drinkers with too much information.
Not that beer drinkers are any less intelligent and focussed than anyone else, but a research team claims its studies show that knowing the ingredients or manufacturer of a beer can affect their opinion about the brew,
In a study reveled in the December issue of the journal Psychological Science, a Columbia University team had 388 people taste two types of beer: a regular one and an "MIT brew," really the regular beer with several drops of balsamic vinegar.
The tasters were divided into three groups; (1.) Doing a blind tasting with no information about the vinegar, (2.) Doing the tasting after being told about it, and (3.) Being told of the additive right after tasting the "MIT" and before they listed a preference.
• Group 1, which did not know the additive, significantly preferred the MIT.
• Group 2, which knew about the vinegar beforehand, had a much lower acceptance rate of the MIT.
• Group 3, which tasted the beers then learned of the additive, also had a much lower acceptance of the MIT.
Apparently, the researchers concluded, while vinegar can improve a beer's taste, 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.
"One might say that beer companies should always get customers to taste their beer first, especially if it is a new beer or one that has unique ingredients, and let the customers decide how much they like the beer before revealing the beer's contents to them," study leader Leonard Lee told LiveScience.
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 8:36 AM