As evidenced by your tendency to start singing/humming/yelling "Cowboy" by Kid Rock after a few pints, beer -- or maybe one too many beers -- can embarrassingly change your perception of music. And now, it appears the reverse might also be true: music can affect the way your beer tastes, according to a new study.
In particular, researchers led by Dr. Felipe Carvalho of Vrije Universiteit in Belgium found that listening to different types of music can actually influence how you perceive the flavor and strength of the beer you're drinking, according to a report by Eater.
The study is based on three separate experiments in which participants were asked to taste and rate a beer while they were exposed to a different "sound stimulus," or music, each time. But, as an abstract for the study explains, "the participants were not informed that they were, in fact, tasting the same beer" all three times. Interestingly, the soundtrack used in the experiments affected the way the participants rated the beer's favor and strength, the researchers concluded.
"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 researchers said, according to the report.
The study found that lighter, "Disney-style" music made the participants perceive the beer as sweeter, while songs with deep bass made them perceive it as more bitter. When participants listened to music they found pleasant, they also "transferred" or associated the positive experience with the beer, suggesting your personal music taste can influence how it tastes as well. It's worth noting, of course, that this isn't the first time music has been found to influence your eating and drinking habits.
Anyway, if you feel like your beer tastes a little too bitter, you might want to try putting on a good song (or maybe drink better beer?!). And by good song, we mean anything that isn't Kid Rock.