Scientists Finally Discover What Makes Old Beer Taste Bad

I love scientists, I really do. When not advancing civilization out of our monkey years, they're also explaining the mysteries of the world: why the sun rises, what makes chlorophyll so damn green, and perhaps the greatest quandary of them all: why does beer, that brewski that man has crafted for millennia, turn so rancid as it ages, as opposed to its eternal country cousin, wine?

Fear not, sudsters: the Germans have come to our rescue. Again.

In last month's issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (available only via subscription, alas), researchers from the Bitburger brewing concern and the Technical University Munich (talk about a motivated donor for your paper!) analyzed the chemical breakdown of beer. "Besides its sedative activity, beer has been attracting consumers over centuries due to its refreshing character, its typical aroma, and its desirable bitter taste profile," begins the paper, and you know it's just going to get better after that. It's a loooong piece filled with compound and such (beer's greatest enemy: tricyclocohumol, so let's cut to the conclusion: "The sensomics data obtained during this study offers the scientific basis for a knowledge-based optimization of the beer bitter taste by controlling the initial pH value of the beer by technological means and by keeping the temperature as low as possible during storage of the final beverage."

Keep beer cold? Even this bourbon imbiber knows that...

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