For me there's a double barrier to liking beer: it's not only the bitterness but the fizziness. I don't like fizziness in any kind of drink except, for some strange reason, sparkling wine which I'm quite happy to drink. (I moved away from the West Country a couple of years ago and am still sad how hard it is to find still cider elsewhere.)
I love tea, but that doesn't taste bitter to me (well, unless it's really strongly brewed, in which case I don't hate it but don't love it either, and will add milk if it's black tea). Same with chocolate - even dark chocolate I don't really think of as being bitter (though I do prefer milk), olives, coffee flavoured things (coffee cake, coffee ice cream etc; I don't like actual coffee because that does taste bitter to me). It could well be that those don't taste bitter to me because I've acquired the taste for them, and that I could do the same for beer (and coffee), but I don't really have any motivation to put the effort in since I'm happy as I am (and for beer, there'd still be the fizziness problem).
Quercus wrote:I'm not much enamoured of either character in this comic - cueball for assuming that everyone who likes beer is "pretending" just because he doesn't like beer, and hairguy for belittling cueball for not liking beer.
I would probably agree with this assessment (though I'm not completely sure about hair guy - "Man, you are no fun at all" could be referring to the other guy's inability to understand how some people might actually enjoy something he doesn't rather than to him not liking beer; "Dude, if you don't like it, don't drink it" sounds like it could be totally accepting of him not liking beer, depending on the tone of voice hair guy said it in).
ahammel wrote:I find it quite irritating to be told that I am either pretending or have been brainwashed into liking something that I genuinely enjoy.
It's an acquired taste. Maybe you just haven't heard a GOOD accusation of disingenuity or impressionability.
Well played, even though ahammel's point is extremely valid (and I would feel the same if I liked beer).
orthogon wrote:For me, the problem with most non-alcoholic drinks is sweetness (I agree with Quercus). I wish there were more savoury/bitter soft drinks available.
Same here! I like fruit juice, milkshakes, still cider, and sweet spirits (e.g. Archers) but any sweet drink other than those just tastes sickly to me. And since there is a limit to how many fruit juices I feel like consuming in a row, I don't feel like that's all I need in the way of options when I don't feel like alcohol. What I would really love to be able to drink is iced tea, but unsweetened. So easy to find in Japan, not a thing over here. (Ok, you can find it in some East Asian supermarkets and I make it at home sometimes, but if we're talking pubs, bars, restaurants, cafés, shops you might happen to be passing on a hot day... then no.)
orthogon wrote:There are some things that everyone likes from birth, though from what I've read, I'm reluctant to suggest any: this may in fact be an empty set.
Would water be in this set, I wonder? I guess most of us were too young to remember our first taste of it. Does everyone even like water anyway? (Are there any real life Captain Haddocks?)