Translation:Your wife thought that you like beer.
Interesting that English (mine, anyway) prefers to write this with two past tenses.
That's the sequence of tenses in standard English -- after a verb in the past, the verbs in a "that" clause are shifted one step into the past. (e.g. present to past, past to past perfect). The "official" sentence is technically incorrect, but admittedly in wide use, so will be (if not already is) an acceptable variant.
"liked" works. But the sequence of tenses isn't necessary, and using it in the main sentence would be very confusing.
And I think it's especially visible here... whether I like beer or not, I like it or not generally. It's not a question of whether I liked beer two months ago.
You are right that "liked" is ambiguous but "like" doesn't sound right to me and I don't believe it's grammatically correct.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_of_tenses#English - the difference between the attracted and the natural sentence. Interesting that one of them is called 'natural', actually... ;) OK, those are very dependent on the context, but luckily we don't have context here at Duolingo, so we can easily use the natural version in (almost?) every sentence. In this one it definitely makes more sense to use the natural one, because as I said, "I generally like beer".
Gosh, why does English have to complicate things so much...
Thanks for the article. I think that grammar in any language is a constantly shape-shifting monster which makes it even more slippery to get to grips with :-). I know my formidable English teacher at school wouldn't have tolerated the "natural" sequence of tenses and that even wikipedia would have withered under his gaze :-) but as he's no longer with us I'm willing to go along with it :-) By the way lol at English complicating things...
Oh, you said that English complicates things. But Polish is doing the same! At least, in my opinion. As a native Ukrainian I think that Polish is very similar to Ukrainian but it was intentionally complicated.