Background Music Strategy

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How to Choose the Best Music for Your Brewery

by Ryan Santangelo, Ph.D., Co-Founder & CEO, Dynamic Media

Craft beer is a competitive business, and brewing companies are always looking to gain an edge. As any seasoned bartender will tell you, music and beer are a match made in heaven.

beer and music

The right tunes can help to set the tone for your brewpub, creating an atmosphere that is welcoming and inviting. And, of course, good music can also help to keep your customers entertained while they enjoy their beers.

In addition to creating atmosphere, music can also help to enhance the taste of beer. Certain styles of music have been shown to increase the perception of sweetness, while others can make bitterness seem more intense. So if you’re looking to accentuate the flavors in your beer, choosing the right music could be the key.

This article will look at the relationship between beer and music and how your brewery playlist has the power to affect everything from the feel of your pub to the taste of your beer.

The Beer and Music Connection

When it comes to choosing the right music to drink beer to, there are a few things you have to consider.

The tempo of the music is important. Various studies have shown that up-tempo tunes tend to make people drink faster, which can lead to faster table turns. On the other hand, slower songs can put people in a relaxed mood, making them more likely to linger over their drinks. As a general rule, it’s best to keep things on the upbeat side during peak hours and then slow things down a bit as the night wears on.

Other research in this field points out the importance of playing music at the right volume level for your brewpub. The ideal volume level is one that allows people to talk and laugh without having to shout but also allows the music to be clearly heard. After all, no one wants to have to shout to be heard over the din of the crowd. But at the same time, you don’t want the music to be so soft that it gets lost in the shuffle.

Music and the Taste of Beer

Music volume isn’t the only consideration concerning beer and music. According to an intriguing study in Belgium, simply playing music can affect people’s impressions of the taste of beer. In conjunction with the Brussels Beer Project, the research team worked with a brewing company and a band to develop a beer based on the band’s music. The brew they created was a medium-body porter infused with Earl Grey tea because the band was from England. Study participants tasted the beer under three conditions: in a bottle without a label and no music, in a bottle with a label and no music and in a bottle with a label while music played. Those who drank the beer from a labeled bottle while listening to the band’s song reported the greatest enjoyment of the beer.

Does the Type of Music Affect the Taste of Beer?

Yes! A study in the Frontiers of Psychology found that music can affect the taste of beer. In their study, they had participants taste two types of beer while listening to different types of music. The first type of beer was a Belgium-style ale, and the second was an IPA. They found that the participants perceived the Belgium ale as sweeter when they were listening to pop music, and they perceived the IPA as more bitter when they were listening to heavy metal music. Another study measured the effect that different types of music have on beer. The participants sampled the same beer both with no music playing and with different genres playing, and then reported their impressions concerning the beer’s bitterness, sweetness, sourness and alcohol content. The research found that listening to Disney-style music actually caused participants to rate the beer as sweeter tasting. But they reported the beer tasted more bitter when listening to deep bass sounds. This research indicates that music can influence our perception of taste and that breweries should be careful about what type of music they play in their taprooms. After all, no one wants to drink a bitter IPA while headbanging to Metallica.

SiriusXM Music for Business Can Help Finetune Your Beer and Music Mix

If you’re looking for the best beer and music combination, you can’t go wrong with SiriusXM Music for Business. With 240+ stations of commercial-free music and over 10,000 Pandora playlists, we offer something for every taste. You’re sure to find the perfect brewery playlist among our many selections. Start streaming now and experience firsthand the difference we deliver.

How To Pair Your Beer and Music

As you search for your ultimate blend of beer and music, there are a few factors to keep in mind. The three most important are theme, tempo and volume.

Consider the Theme

The theme is the type of music playing, and SiriusXM Music for Business has you covered with a fantastic range of themes, including:
  • Hip hop
  • Country
  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Jazz
  • Latin
  • Retro
beer and music

Choose the Tempo

Tempo is the speed of music, usually measured in beats per minute (BPM). Generally, high BPM music is considered anything over 100 beats per minute. As mentioned earlier, the tempo of your brewery playlist can affect customers’ behavior, so you’ll want to carefully consider this characteristic as you select music to drink beer to.

Set the Volume

We’ve already seen that volume can impact customers in several different ways. Selecting a volume of 75 to 80 decibels is generally a good balance for vibrant bars and breweries, although you can switch that up, depending on your desired effect.

Craft Your Best Beer and Music Mix With SiriusXM Music for Business

As a leader among streaming services for bars and breweries, SiriusXM Music for Business offers the greatest number of options at the best price — as low as $26.95 per month. And when you select a SiriusXM Music for Business dedicated player, you get access to additional features like overhead messaging, channel blocking and scheduling, which gives your employees the ability to pick what music plays during specific times. SiriusXM Music for Business gives you all the options you need to create the right beer and music combination for your establishment. Subscribe today and begin reaping the benefits.

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