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Beverages 2016, 2(4), 31;

Tune That Beer! Listening for the Pitch of Beer

Department of Electronics and Informatics (ETRO), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Brain & Cognition, Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
Laboratory of Enzyme, Fermentation and Brewing Technology (EFBT), KU Leuven Technology Campus, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Department of Brain, Body & Behavior, Philips Research Laboratories, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Department of Biophysics, Donders Institute, Radboud University, 6500 GL Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miranda Mirosa
Received: 21 September 2016 / Revised: 4 November 2016 / Accepted: 11 November 2016 / Published: 17 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumer behavior and beverage choice)
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We report two experiments designed to assess the key sensory drivers underlying people’s association of a specific auditory pitch with Belgian beer. In particular, we assessed if people would rely mostly on the differences between beers in terms of their relative alcohol strength, or on the contrast between the most salient taste attributes of the different beers. In Experiment 1, the participants rated three bitter beers (differing in alcohol content), using a narrow range of pitch choices (50–500 Hz). The results revealed that the beers were all rated around the same pitch (Mean = 232 Hz, SD = 136 Hz). In Experiment 2, a wider range of pitch choices (50–1500 Hz), along with the addition of a much sweeter beer, revealed that people mostly tend to match beers with bitter-range profiles at significantly lower pitch ranges when compared to the average pitch of a much sweeter beer. These results therefore demonstrate that clear differences in taste attributes lead to distinctly different matches in terms of pitch. Having demonstrated the robustness of the basic crossmodal matching, future research should aim to uncover the basis for such matches and better understand the perceptual effects of matching/non-matching tones on the multisensory drinking experience. View Full-Text
Keywords: beer; flavor; taste; sound; alcohol content; pitch; crossmodal correspondences beer; flavor; taste; sound; alcohol content; pitch; crossmodal correspondences

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Reinoso Carvalho, F.; Wang, Q.J.; de Causmaecker, B.; Steenhaut, K.; van Ee, R.; Spence, C. Tune That Beer! Listening for the Pitch of Beer. Beverages 2016, 2, 31.

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