Food

Cheap vs. expensive beer: We put our taste buds to the test

We all would like to think that our perfectly trained palates could separate cheap beer from expensive beer, but can they actually? Are our taste buds as sophisticated as we believe them to be?

To find out, my colleagues and I took part in a blind taste text of a cheap beer (~$5 per 6-pack) vs. a more expensive one (~$10-15 per 6-pack). And I found out I am the only one who cannot tell the difference.

I thought I was a beer connoisseur — but alas, I am not.

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Can you really taste the difference between cheap and expensive beer?

Play Video - 1:48

Can you really taste the difference between cheap and expensive beer?

Play Video - 1:48

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Whereas my colleague Courtney tasted the cheap beer and said, "That tastes like college," I said, very confidently, about the same beer, "I would drink this now that I am a grown woman at a bar."

Other taste-testers described the beer as "bland," "diet" and "basic."

In contrast, upon first sip, I called the expensive one "beer pong juice."

Phil, my co-worker, just smelled it and knew it was a "European pilsner," and Courtney could tell that "someone spent time crafting it."

Danielle identified which was cheap and expensive correctly, but she said she actually preferred the cheaper one.

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"It would be perfect to have on a hot, summer night," she said, whereas she felt quite the opposite about the expensive kind: "I'm not gonna lie; it kinda tastes like pee."

So maybe my palate can't tell the difference between cheap vs. expensive — just good vs. bad.

"I don't like either, I'm going to be honest," said my other colleague Zach.

Or, you know, maybe they both just stunk.

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