That’s Right, The Women Are Smarter – When It Comes to Tasting Beer

June 30th, 2010 · No Comments · General Beer News

As someone who often shares bottles of beer at home with his fiance, I have come to realize that my “better half” can often pick up flavors I do not at first. So, this article in the Wall Street Journal about women sometimes faring better than men as professional beer tasters wasn’t much of a shock to me.

“We have found that females often are more sensitive about the levels of flavor in beer,” says Barry Axcell, SABMiller’s chief brewer. Women trained as tasters outshine their male counterparts, he says…Today, 30% of SABMiller’s 1,000 advanced-level tasters are female, Mr. Axcell says. The number of women tasters has roughly quadrupled in 10 years.

If practice makes perfect, men should have the clear edge in beer tasting, since they account for 72.8% of the world’s beer sales, according to market-research firm Datamonitor Group. But SABMiller, which makes Pilsner Urquell, Peroni and Grolsch in addition to Miller and Coors brands, says its empirical evidence shows that females are the superior sex when it comes to detecting such undesirable chemicals as 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol, which makes beer “skunky.”

While SABMiller’s data claims that women have the edge, Anheuser-Busch does not seem to agree.

At the North American division of Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev, data on its beer tasters show no significant difference between the sexes, says Pete Kraemer, vice president of supply and a beer-tasting panelist himself.

You can read the rest of the article at


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