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Old 11-22-2009, 10:50 PM   #1
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"A group of MIT students tasted two different beers, and then choose to get a free pint of one of the brews. Brew A was Budweiser. Brew B was Budweiser, plus 2 drops of balsamic vinegar per ounce. When students were not told about the nature of the beers, they overwhelmingly chose the balsamic beer. When students were told about the true nature of the beers, they overwhelmingly chose the Budweiser."


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Old 11-22-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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Please tell me you aren't planning to add the balsamic option to your Budweiser clone kit are you?

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Old 11-22-2009, 10:56 PM   #3
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That came from the Predictably Irrational. Great read about how people's tastes can be influenced.

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Old 11-22-2009, 11:02 PM   #4
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Makes perfect sense. Without knowing they chose the beer with some flavor. When they knew, they were like "oh, gross, vinegar in beer?"

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Old 11-22-2009, 11:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Beerrific View Post
Makes perfect sense. Without knowing they chose the beer with some flavor. When they knew, they were like "oh, gross, vinegar in beer?"
It also kind of explains why so many folks like "skunk" in those green bottled imported beers as well.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:15 PM   #6
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Unless they're from Italy, I'd bet the kids surveyed know nothing about balsamic vinegar and how amazingly awesome it can be. So, they probably thought of vinegar as something you'd never want to drink (sour, off taste, etc).

But I'll tell you - when I was at MIT, I was happy to drink Busch or Old Milwaukee. And eat ramen for days on end.

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Old 11-23-2009, 12:00 AM   #7
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I know there exist some light-colored "golden balsamic" vinegars, but most balsamics are dark colored. I wonder what the color contribution of the vinegar would be at 2 drops per oz? I could imagine there are two effects going on simultaneously: 1) people like the added complexity to the flavor and aroma from the balsamic; 2) people equate color with flavor, so choose the slightly darker balsamic-laced beer. It would be interesting to repeat that trial, properly controlled, to determine which effect dominates. Although I'm sure Bud has already done similar trials and knows exactly how each effect is apportioned.

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:21 AM   #8
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Yeah, figured that would happen. I remember during my time at SCU I used to do a test similar to this on all my friends who swore they could tell a difference between bud light and keystone/natural light.

I would buy bud light, coors light, keystone, natural light, miller lite, and something else (i forget now). But I would poor some into each glass and let them try to distinguish which beer was which, and no one ever was able to consistantly name any beer. When asked which one they preferred, it was a different beer everytime.

Moral: Light beer is light beer, you can't tell the difference, so if you are going for quantity go for the cheapest stuff there is. On a personal note, I still buy the coors light b/c of fond memories with it.

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Old 11-23-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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Not unlike the "cheap wine in an expensive bottle" experiments. People's expectations over-ride their perceptions.

And the documented inability of people to identify their preferred cola in blind tastings.

This is why double-blind testing is so important.

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Old 11-23-2009, 03:16 PM   #10
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And even blind taste tests can give bad results. Like when Pepsi did their "Pepsi Challenge" taste tests way back when.

Pepsi soundly beat Coke in those blind, dixie-cup taste tests. Coke decided to make a new recipe that would beat Pepsi in blind, dixie-cup taste tests. And they did. That product was called "New Coke" and soundly beat Pepsi in blind, dixie-cup taste tests. We all know the fate of New Coke.

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