Reading the comments on the previous post made me think a bit. We all have our own likes and dislikes in all sorts of things, and beer is no different. What Leigh liked, Alison didn't and vice versa, and neither agreed with the vote of the festival which selected a totally different beer.
People who know me know that my preferred sort of beer is a light, hoppy number, even though I do try all sorts of styles. Is that down to my upbringing, where I live, or is it just me ? I can discount the first, I was brought up drinking keg Bass products, or the odd pint of Tetleys. so that has hardly set up an interest in hops. Maybe where I live has been a factor. We are lucky to live in Huddersfield where there is a great choice of all sorts of beers from all sorts of breweries to keep us entertained, but this is a fairly recent development. Would the same have happened if I had been brought up in deepest Dorset, or on a Scottish island ? I doubt it.
This was reinforced by a chance conversation with a friend from the former, who likes the darker, maltier beers because that is what he was used to in his youth He spends his time trying to find them on our local bars, preferring to drink bottled beers rather than hoppy beer if his search is unsuccessful. If I go down south, then I am sure I would be spending time trying, probably equally unsuccessfully, to find something to my taste.
Another factor could be the taste of our favoured brewery. If the brewer favours light beer it seems we, as the consumer will be treated to light beers, or alternatively if he,or she goes for the more malty beers our taste will reflect that too. Of course, the more pubs available, the more different choice available. So obviously, the less number of pubs, the less choice. In a village of one pub we are only treated to what the pub owner, or the owning company think we will drink, or what is available from their list, so we are forced to drink their choice, or travel to another pub.
Or may be it is personal taste. Does a light beer suit my palette better than a dark beer? Who knows? All I know is that those people who chose Boggart 'Rum Porter' as the beer of Huddersfield Festival must have different tastes to me, I cannot stand the stuff.
It looks like a great subject for a Ph.D, and I am sure there is no definitive answer. Some people are happy to drink the same beer day after day, without any complaint; others like to change beers every pint; and there are even people out there, (they must be aliens or just not blessed with any sort of taste) that drink lager. All I can say, drink what you like,so long as it keeps the pub's till full, and your pub open.