Beer Consumed Faster From Curved Containers
September 1, 2012

The Shape Of Your Glass Affects How Fast You Drink Beer

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

How quickly a person drinks beer depends upon the shape of the glass the alcoholic beverage is contained in, researchers from the University of Bristol claim as part of a new study.

According to Steven Morris of the Guardian, the researchers discovered that it took beer drinkers nearly half the time to empty a curved glass than it did to finish the liquid contained in a straight glass. Morris reported that it took an average of 12 minutes to drain a straight glass of beer, but just seven minutes from a curved one.

"The researchers suggest the reason may be that it is more difficult to accurately judge the halfway point of curved glasses. As a result, people are less able to gauge how much they have drunk," he said. "They believe drinkers try to pace themselves and so the halfway point becomes important."

Interestingly, the Bristol researchers, who have published their findings in the journal PLoS One, found that when the 159 men and women who took part in the research drank soft drinks instead of beer, there was virtually no difference between the two different types of mugs. Regardless of whether or not they were drinking the non-alcoholic beverage from a straight or curved vessel, they finished the beverage in an average of approximately seven minutes.

Morris reports that the experiment was conducted by the university's School of Experimental Psychology, and that the subjects chosen for the research were between the ages of 18 and 40 with no prior history of alcoholism. Each subject was first asked to drink from one of the two types of glasses while watching a nature documentary, and then asked to return for a second session, during which they looked at pictures of different straight and curved glasses and determine whether each was more than half full or less than half full.

"It emerged that the participants who showed the greatest error in their judgment of where halfway was in the curved glasses tended to be those that drank the quickest from them," he said. "The study highlights how in recent years makers of alcoholic drinks have invested in interesting branded glasses to differentiate their products. These include chalice glasses, curved beer flutes, tankards and novel curved glasses."

"While many people drink alcohol responsibly, it is not difficult to have 'one too many' and become intoxicated. Because of the negative effects alcohol has on decision making and control of behavior, this opens us up to a number of risks," lead researcher Dr. Angela Attwood said in a statement. "People often talk of 'pacing themselves' when drinking alcohol as a means of controlling levels of drunkenness, and I think the important point to take from our research is that the ability to pace effectively may be compromised when drinking from certain types of glasses."