Do You Hate IPAs? There Might Be A Scientific Reason Why
Over the past few years, the beer world has been absolutely dominated by Indian Pale Ales. Breweries have continued to add more and more hops to their product (with varying success) — to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park, they’re so preoccupied with whether or not they can that they haven’t stopped to think if they should.
If you walk into a craft beer bar, there’s a good chance that half of the tap list (or more) will be dedicated to the style, which is great news for fans of IPAs but a nightmare for people who can’t stand them. If you fall into the latter category, you might just think you’re missing something, but there actually might be a scientific reason for why you hate them.
If you have an aversion to bitterness, you might be a “supertaster,” a term that applies to 25% of the population. Supertasters can be easily overwhelmed by the intense flavor of the hops, which is why they tend to gravitate towards lighter styles.
Esquire went into a bit more detail:
Unfortunately, being a supertaster isn’t as great as the name suggests. “You might think that a supertaster would have a lot of fun eating and drinking, but it’s more like the opposite,” writes Dr. Rob DeSalle of the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomic. “Because supertasters experience tastes more intensely than nontasters and tasters, the effects of different tastes detected by tongues of supertasters are amplified relative to the nontasters and tasters.”
There is at least one upside to being a supertaster—studies have shown that hoppier beers can cause people to grow man boobs, so you’ve got that going for you, which is nice. Feel free to pop open a nice light beer to celebrate.