Here’s a study that every gigging musician should know about. It appears that music can profoundly influence how we taste things, but most significantly, it’s beer it holds the most influence over. A study published in Frontiers in Psychology by Dr. Felipe Reinoso Cavalho from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven, in collaboration with the Brussels Beer Project and the U.K. rock band the Editors, found that different sounds and sound levels can enhance or detract our sense of taste.
What’s most depressing is the fact that high decibel level music causes out taste perception to decrease, which isn’t exactly good for club and venue bar business.
The Brussels Beer Project produced “a porter-style ale with a medium body and an Earl Grey infusion that produced citrus notes, contrasting with the malty, chocolate flavors from the mix of grains used in production.” There were over 200 drinkers in the study, and they tasted the beer under three different conditions.
“The first group acted as a control and drank beer along with the bottle without a label, and did not listen to a specific song. The second group tasted the beer after seeing the bottle with the label, while the third group drank the beer presented with the label while listening to “Oceans of Light” off the band’s latest album. Prior to drinking, the group was asked to rate how tasty they believed the beer to be, and after, rate how much they enjoyed the drink.”
It turns out that the label on the bottle didn’t change the study group’s taste perception as much as the music did, as the third group indicated that they enjoyed the beer more than the other two groups.
A 2011 study also found that music could enhance the joy of drinking wine as well. The type of wine closely mirrored the type of wine that listened too at the time.
That proves it. Choose you music with your food wisely!