Have you guys noticed that beer tastes bad to some, but others seem to enjoy having it? Scientific research shows that your genes are to blame for the bad taste. It is not the beer that tastes that way. Depending on the ingredients, age, and storage method, the taste of beer can range from sweet to sour and harsh.
Sometimes, you’ll encounter beers with tastes unlike those you’ve already experienced. So, if you’re wondering, check out our comprehensive flavor guide, your new brewing best buddy, and learn what beer tastes like!
Reactions of the body to beer
When we drink beer, our body releases a feel-good hormone, or the happy hormone, called dopamine. Increased level of dopamine improves mood. But if this trigger that releases dopamine is continuous, our body becomes resistant to the trigger.
Ultimately, our body no longer releases dopamine, and if dopamine is being released, our body does not respond to it. So, we would feel changes in mood and end up hating the taste of beer.
Our genes are to blame for the taste
Believe it or not, liking the taste of beer can depend on your genes. It is sometimes due to the variations in genetic patterns that we perceive the taste different than most people. Some people naturally perceive the taste of beer as bitter. Our tongue consists of 25 different kinds of taste receptors.
Each receptor is responsible for detecting different kinds of tastes, such as bitter, sweet, umami, salty, etc. When you eat or drink something bitter, the G protein-coupled receptors are activated, and they send a signal to the taste center in the brain, and you perceive that taste as bitter.
The ingredients are responsible for the bitterness
All beers are made up of four basic ingredients, water, grain, hops, and yeast. Some beers are made from malted barley. When you combine this grain with the yeast, it creates the typical sweetness that the beer has. Some people do not seem to like that barley and end up hating the taste. If you still want to try beer, you should try one without barley.
Hops are flowers that have a cone-like appearance. You can add these to the beer to make it taste better. Well, some people are not fond of hops too. You should try one with fewer hops.
Mass spectrometry reveals that the hops-derived products change during the storage period at various temperatures. It contains trans-iso-alpha acids. Their degradation leads to a nasty and bitter taste.
For instance, tricyclocohumol concentration in pilsner beer increased by almost a factor of four during eight months of accelerated aging at 28 degrees Celsius in a bottle. Pilsner was kept in a bottle at roughly room temperature (20 degrees C) for four years and had even more tricyclocohumol—nearly six times the initial concentration.
Why kids do not like beer
As a kid transitions toward puberty, many changes happen physically and emotionally. At a very early age, when a child tries beer, the tastebuds are not mature enough to handle the strong taste of beer.
For the first time when a kid tries beer, they will not like its taste which is nothing to worry about. This is because kids are more prone to eating chocolates and eatables with a strong aura of sweet and sour, and at the same time, beer has a strong bitter taste which makes it hard for kids to enjoy.
Studies reveal that kids between the age of 13 and 14 roughly taste beer and alcohol under the supervision of their parents, and this happens roughly 4 to 5 times a year. This proves that kids find the taste of beer not so reasonable.
Have you ever wondered why beer is comforting in adulthood when it felt quite the opposite at a young age? This is because our nervous system like rewards, and as we grow older, our reward systems shrink down to a few important things.
One of those things is prioritizing beer as a reward, and falling into the trap of beer addiction. Drinking this as a reward brings pleasure to a human, which leads to addiction. Well, you might be thinking, how can something that tastes bad be addicting?
With time our taste buds mature as our body matures, and during all this, we start to like tastes we once disliked. This is the maturing of our taste buds. The after-effects of beer and alcohol also lead to large consumption.
When problems arise, humans tend to find something that can help them escape reality or release the pressure built up in them. With high consumption of beer, they finally lose control over these suppressed emotions. This releases dopamine in their bodies, giving them the feeling of temporary happiness.
Beer consumption in adults
About 30% of kids start drinking beer before the age of 18. This means that a large ratio of adults consumes beer daily. Americans still prefer beer over other alcoholic beverages, making it the most popular drink in the US.
An average of 63% of Americans drink beer. Due to this reason, the per capita consumption ranges from as little as 18.6 gallons to 40.8 gallons depending on the state.
It is important to take precautions while drinking beer. Despite its bad taste, large consumption can lead to people doing activities they might regret later. People who find the taste of beer not tolerable can have plenty of other drinks which will give them the same feeling but with a better taste.
- Virgin Bloody Mary
- Whiskey and Lime
These drinks are simple yet can give you a good taste while providing an experience similar to that the beer provides.
Despite its not-so-comfortable taste, it is still one of the most popular drinks. Providing a buzz like no other drink cancels all the other factors that might make it less favorable.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.