Note: the following is a guest post written by Kevin Flynn and the patrons of Bridgid’s Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA. It does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editor and owner of BlogAboutBeer.com.
The patron’s of Bridgid’s restaurant in Philadelphia, PA are composed of people with sophisticated palates and an understanding of finer beers. Discussing the finer points of hops, barley and ingredients that makeup more flavored beers, the patrons wondered if the temperature of the beer influenced the taste. To further the question, they asked if the taste of the beer changed over time due to the handling of the beer as the warmth of the beer drinker’s hand warms the beer thereby altering the taste.
Based on these questions, the patrons started an informal clinical trial comparing glass beer mugs to pewter beer mugs. The purpose of the clinical trial was to determine if a pewter mug, which maintains temperature and insulates the beer from the warmth transferred by the drinker’s hand, provides a better drinking experience than traditional glass beer mugs. Specifically, Bridgid’s compared the taste in a chilled glass mug and a chilled pewter mug at 1, 3, 10, 15 and 20 minutes. The results are as follows:
As indicated by the results, pewter was the favored mug among the total population. The results changed however based on gender. Men, almost consistently preferred the pewter mug and women preferred glass mugs. While no clear determination as to why women preferred glass, it is hypothesized that presentation was a factor. This hypothesis is based on comments made by the women during the trial and further supported by Tom Kehoe, founder and brewmaster of Yards Brewery in Philadelphia, PA.
Noted during the trial was that women commented on the aesthetically pleasing appearance of the amber beer served in a clear glass mug. This assertion was supported by brewmaster Tom’s experience which, as stated, “the presentation often influences the drinker’s perception.”
The result leads us to a single question, can you separate taste from presentation?
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