The popularity of West Coast-styled hoppy and bitter India Pale Ales does not follow the common assumption humans prefer sweet flavors and dislike bitter. The other senses (barring individual sensory disabilities) will perceive the bottle of beer the same way, cold to touch, rounded and brown in sight, the cracking of the cap and hiss of escaping carbonation to the sound, and a floral and citrus bouquet to the scent. These senses are at the same time distinctively isolated from each other and yet undeniably connected in regards to the bottle of IPA. Taste brings together all five, as the effervescent and bitter beer flows through the mouth, we sense a strong combination between taste and scent; where the tongue provides the sensatory battle between sweet and bitter, the nose provides nuances to our perception of the beer. The complexity of beer flavor is now something to be respected like a fine wine or a culinary masterpiece.
Eric Ortega, “The Golden State of Brewing; California’s Economic and Cultural Influence in the American Brewing Industry” (Master’s thesis, California State University, Fullerton, 2015), 110.