The SOB Beer Blog
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Why Women Are Better Beer Tasters
08.17.2012 13:48 PM
Men get a lot of street cred for buying 72.8 percent of the world's beer.
But come on, now: if you're a woman... when was the last time you paid for the beer you drank?
To add insult to injury, studies show women are superior beer tasters too!
Why Are Women Better Beer Tasters?
1. They're physiologically designed to detect subtlties.
A 2010 study commissioned by SABMiller found that women were better at detecting undesirable chemicals (like 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol) responsible for "skunky" beer. Research shows that women have a better sense of smell, which is critical in detecting flavor, says Marcia Pelchat, a scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. This could be evolutionary, as women were traditionally the ones who gathered and prepared the food to nourish their young.
2. They're highly educated.
Many women beer tasters have studied microbiology or the food science before landing their dream jobs as beer tasters. They've often worked for cereal bars or cheese factories, putting their senses to the test. Once people go through an aptitude screening, they undergo several months of training to detect distinct flavors found in beer.
3. They're almost poetic.
According to their peers, female beer tasters use more colorful descriptions for beer -- like "fish tank," "cardboard," "astringent" or "lingering nutty roasted." Women are known as better communicators and more expressive of their senses in general, so it's not surprising that they are a valuable asset to a tasting panel.
4. They're artistic.
Women can also identify more shades of color. "Sometimes guys will see red or brown and women will see shades in it," says Jason Pratt, a yeast and fermentation scientist.
5. They're used to dealing with complexity.
SABMiller's 2010 "Taster of the Year," 33-year-old Joanna Wasilewska from Poland was said to have an "unusual knack for identifying extremely low levels of troublesome chemicals." She claims it's due to her "love affair with perfumes."
6. They're pickier.
If you've ever gone shopping with a woman, then you KNOW they are just inherently more discerning when it comes to everything -- clothes, movies, food, beer, what you'll be doing Saturday night...
7. They're imaginative.
"Women typically are better able to detach a smell from the object," says Tim Williams, the head brewer at Australia's Bluetongue Brewery. Of the 100 taster jobs they were looking to fill in 2009, the vast majority of them were taken by women.
Are Women Taking Over The Industry?
The number of women tasters has more than quadrupled over the past decade and at least 30 percent of SABMiller's advanced-level tasters are women. Look out, men - our kind is breeding women beer tasters in places like San Francisco!
* SaveOnBrew wants to hear from you! What are your thoughts? Do you believe women have a superior beer palate?
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