Have you ever wondered why the beer at your favorite bar always tastes better than the exact same thing anywhere else?
Everyone knows that alcohol and atmosphere go together to the point where good booze seems like it tastes better with good company and the right ambiance. But did you know that it can actually make beer taste better?
It's true, because scientists say so! A new study measured the psychological relationship between beer and music and found that the style of music influenced the way participants rated the flavor qualities of beer. Seriously.
Dr. Felipe Carvalho of Vrije Universiteit Brussel and his team conducted three experiments in which they had participants taste one of three beers while listening to two different kinds of music. They also conducted a third study in complete silence. In each setting, participants rated their beer as having vastly different flavor profiles.
But here's the catch – each time, the participants tasted the same beer three times, unbeknownst to them.
"The objective was to determine whether soundtracks that have previously been shown to correspond to the different basic tastes would significantly modulate the perceived sweetness, bitterness, sourness, and alcohol content of the beers," Carvalho wrote in the study's abstract. "Overall, the soundtracks influenced the participants' rating of the beers' taste and strength."
When the volunteers listened to a "Disney-style track," they said that the beer tasted sweeter, while bass-heavy music made the brew's flavors lean more on the bitter side.
"While listening to the pleasant sweet soundtrack, the participant transfers his or her experience and feelings about the music to the beer that they happen to be tasting," the researchers wrote, Eater reports.
This may come in handy for those in the food and drink industry who are looking to branch out and entice customers with a fully multi-sensory experience designed not only to make everything look better, but also to make it taste better.
"The results demonstrate that soundtracks that had been specially developed to evoke a specific taste can effectively be used in order to influence the participants' beer tasting experience," the study concluded.