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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lisa Riffs on Women and Sour Ales

Last week, I posted a sort of random ramble (my forte) about sour ales and noted, off-handedly that "one hopeful sign is that women seem to like sour ales more than men." Lisa Morrison, a beer-loving woman, has taken this up in less-random fashion:
There is a school of thought that women’s palates are more fine-tuned to bitter (not sour) flavors because, as the primary child caregivers, at least historically, women would often taste food first before giving it to their child. In fact, these earlier females probably even chewed the food a bit before giving it to the younger ones – especially in the days before cutlery and CuisineArts....

But sour, now that is the flavor of unripe berries and other fruit still on the vine or tree. Cavewoman might not have had the luxury of letting those fruits ripen a bit more before eating them or feeding them to the kiddos. Women’s brains developed to not give us the “danger” signal with sour flavors like it did with bitter
This seems right. It does, however, raise another, related question: are hops actually bitter? This is a question I've been turning over in my head a lot lately, particularly after having a bottle of Widmer Deadlift and a pint of Double Mountain Porter A Go Go. We call them bitter, but the bitterness isn't exactly like the bitterness you get from, say, dark chocolate.

But I digress. You should go read Lisa's post in full.

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