You’re at a party, a bar, a restaurant, or just a friend’s house and everyone around you is having a beer. You’re offered a beer and turn it down. Then, you feel compelled to sheepishly explain that you don’t like beer and everyone looks at you like you have two heads. How can you not like beer? Everyone likes beer, right? Wrong.
After all, beer is the third most popular drink in the world, beat out only by water and tea, according to South Florida Reporter. Although domestic beer sales fell in America between 2018 and 2019, according to CNN, beer still remains a go-to drink and has since ancient times.
The first signs of beer brewing date back about 5,000 years to Babylonia where the soil was ripe for grain growth. People knew that grain could both nourish them and create beer, according to Craft Beer & Brewing. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to like beer, and if you don’t then there’s a very good reason for it.
You might not be hard-wired to like the taste of beer
Beer is bitter and sometimes our taste buds want to stay away from bitter flavors. We might even be genetically inclined to have an aversion to bitter food and drink, according to Live Science. At one time, our brains associated bitter tastes with dangerous foods and told us to stay away from bitter flavors. As the human species has evolved over time, it developed a whopping 25 different taste bud receptors for bitter flavors, as opposed to a mere two for foods that are salty.
“If you think of a receptor as a lock, then whatever it binds to is a specific key,” Dr. Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace of Cornell University told Live Science. “The cell to which that receptor is attached sends a message to the brain to say, ‘Oooh this is bitter!'”
Then there’s the fact that beer is carbonated, as opposed to say whiskey or wine. That carbonation activates the body’s cold receptors. Once again, as we evolved, the human body learned early on to identify that cold as a danger and developed a defense mechanism (via Live Science). Between the bitter taste on your tongue and your body sensing cold, it’s no wonder that some people are just genetically made not to like beer.
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