We've all had our share of "old man cans" or "retro beers."

The first time I ever tasted a beer it was from the can of PBR I was hand delivering to my dad.  And maybe this is foreshadowing the result of today's "taste test."  But we'll get to that in a moment.

From our experiences when we were young or seeing the neon lights in your old man's favorite bar...we have a prejudice for or against certain beers. Maybe Hamm's reminds you fondly of your grandpa. The Schlitz logo may have been etched into your dad's favorite cup. You have a positive feeling about these brands.

But maybe you had too much Old Mill as a teen. Or Budweiser tears your stomach up.  You say "I don't like those beers" even though if you base it solely on taste, you actually enjoy it.

Charlie Cole from the Blue Cat Brewing Company came in to prove to me that most of what we taste is based on branding. And he couldn't have been more right.

He set up a blind taste test for me with 6 different beers (of which, I only knew Stroh's was involved).

  • Pabst Blue Ribbon
  • Busch Light
  • Stroh's
  • Old Style
  • Stag
  • Hamm's

Of them all, I picked PBR as my favorite. I knew Busch Light was on the "lighter side". Stroh's was my least favorite and the others just blended into each other.  We should've had a pallet cleanser between each one, but maybe next time.

The point of it was that the variation of taste on all 6 of these was so minuscule. Some were a bit heavier, maybe sweeter, dryer, but for the most part, were the same.

It's crazy to think how much our opinions influence our taste.  From now on I will be drinking with a more open mind.

Except Stroh's. I'm not drinking that shit.


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