By Noah Kaufman
Updated August 08, 2014
Sure, you think you know what you want.
© Wes Neuenschwander

Beer drinkers tend be very opinionated. One may pronounce a certain brand, featuring impressive spokesanimals, refreshing and delicious, while calling another made in the same style total swill. But a new study from the American Association of Wine Economists (they’re branching out) attempts to reveal just how much deliciousness relates to branding.

Researchers chose three competing lagers with notable differences: Heineken (the Netherlands), Stella Artois (Belgium) and Czechvar (a Czech beer). Then they did tasting rounds featuring two of the same beer and one outlier. Here's the thing: subjects couldn't correctly identify the odd beer out, let alone name the beer they claimed to prefer. They performed no better than random when picking which beer was different from the other two. The conclusion researchers have drawn from this is that--when it comes to brand loyalty, anyway--ordering preferences are not really related to taste.

As with any study, there can be only so many variables. An interesting follow-up would use some of the massive number of IPAs or pale ales Americans are so fond of right now.

Now, we’re sure that these results don’t apply to astute beer drinkers like us, but if you want a fun activity that will involve drinking a lot of beer this weekend, have someone set up a blind tasting and let us know how you make out using #FWx on Twitter.