Beer 101

Hi Everyone. My Name is Clark and I Don’t Like IPA’s

Hi, Everyone. This is Clark. Clark doesn't like IPA's.

Nobody Actually Likes The Taste of Beer

According to a new study, scientists have found out that you don’t prefer hoppy beers based on your taste genes, but rather the association on how it makes you feel. Researchers were looking into how genetics affects our taste in drinks, and how they could help find ways to help people’s diets.

“People like the way coffee and alcohol make them feel. That’s why they drink it. It’s not the taste.” said Marilyn Cornelis, who led the study at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, “The genetics underlying our preferences are related to the psychoactive components to these drinks.” The results have been published in scientific journal Human Molecular Genetics, and show that there are important behavior-reward components to beverage choice.

I’m no scientist, I think its totally possible to like the taste of beer. Especially since the craft beer explosion, there are too many types and tastes of beer. Unless, its not the flavor of the beer that you like, but rather the flavors IN the beer. I mean I love pumpkin anything so I love drink Oktoberfest as well as all of the pumpkin flavored beers (have you tried New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger: Atomic Pumpkin?). I would say I enjoy taste of those beers. So is it the beer itself or the flavor of pumpkin in the beer that I like? Perhaps it is just how beer makes me feel. Which leads me to my next point:

The Hoppiness Overload: Perhaps Science is Right, I Hate IPA’s!

I know what you might be thinking. I write for a beer blog, I enjoy craft beer and love brewing it at home. Obviously, like so many people, I love any and all IPA’s. The bitterer the better! RIGHT? Right?

Hi everyone. My name is Clark, and I don’t like IPA’s.*

I believe that we have gotten accustomed to the bitter beer so much, that it is adjusting our tolerance for hoppy beer. And because our tolerance is getting stronger, we need more bitter beers. I would bet that one of the more milder IPA’s of today would be considered too hoppy for those drinking it 10 years ago. I think because our taste buds have been bludgeoned with bitterness, a new style has emerged.

The New England Style IPA

One of the key differences between the NEIPA and its American West Coast-style IPA forefather is the usage of hops. West Coast IPAs are aggressively hopped to achieve big, bitter flavors like grapefruit peel, lemon rind and peppery pine. Hazy IPAs, use their hops primarily for their aroma. Hazy IPAs are brewed to smell like an orange grove, but their flavor is far more balanced and easy drinking than West Coast IPAs. I have tried a few of these New England or NEIPA’s and I agree, it might still have the bitterness but the smoother mouth-feel and more balanced flavors sit better with my taste buds. It’s still not my go-to style of choice, but I will always try a new beer.

Here is where the study from earlier comes into play. Its not the taste, its how it makes you feel. We can have differences of opinion based on experience, and opinions can change through positive or negative reinforcement. You can train your brain to like beer. All you need is a good environment. Positive reinforcement of IPAs can make you a lover of them in no time!

Every time I go to a brewery for the first time, I always get a flight to try as many as possible. I don’t want to miss anything, even if it means trying what tastes like a drinkable pine tree. I am hopeful to find that one IPA that converts me from my heathen ways. Now as for the good environment, our local breweries are filled with good vibes. It’s hard to not have a great time when you are there. Which is something I love about the craft beer scene. There isn’t the holier or should I say “Hoppier than thou” vibe at these establishments, it doesn’t matter if you drink sours, or stouts. People just want to have a good time and hang out. I guess that’s why my hatred for IPA’s has slightly been subdued. Though given the choice, I will always go for the lager, porter, or stout.

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