o - is for olfactory - Friendship Adventure

o - is for olfactory

“It goes without saying that if there is a god, he or she would drink Friendship Adventure beer.” - factual, inoffensive, balanced - the perfect opening to a blog post. Never mind the fact that I’ve never a.) met god or b.) drunk beer. What’s been said cannot be unsaid. Whoever smelt it, dealt it.


Olfactory pertains to your sense of smell. “Pertains to” is a fancy way of saying “is about”. Olfactory is a word meaning smell that begins with O and I had to write something about a word beginning with O. 


Your sense of smell is important because it helps you taste. Taste is important because: beer. Blog post done? - you think..but wait, there’s more.


Smell is both the oldest sense and the most powerful. It is also the only sense with direct connection to the brain. It is oldest in that it is the first sense to develop in humans, fully forming in utero before we’re born (how mental is that?). Most powerful in that it evokes memory more intensely and more immediately than any other sense. It is our gateway to the past, when we are transported to a moment or place, and it is our guide to the present, throughout the day and particularly when we eat. It can also be our guide to the future - you can smell the change in charge of the air when rain is coming; some animals (dogs in particular) can detect cancer before it is identified by traditional methods.


When it comes to taste, information from the taste buds and the sinus are inextricably linked: the nose and mouth are connected through the same airway which means that you taste and smell foods at the same time. The sense of taste can recognise salty, sweet, bitter, sour and savoury (umami), but when you combine this with the sense of smell you can recognise the myriad individual tastes that make up a menu. Your sense of smell accounts for 75-95% of the impact a flavour has. Without being able to smell the difference between an onion and potato, it’d be difficult to tell them apart. Or, to make it relevant to you, carefully curated target audience definitely-not-selected-by-an-algorithm member, between Tight Five and Tennent’s. 


For brewers and beer drinkers alike, the sense of smell is critical, the brewers nose dictating which hops and so which flavours to combine, the beer drinker enjoying those same aromas as he necks it in one, tears streaming down his ruddy face, because he’s in the pub for the first time since March.


Smell is linked, in beer, to Hops (helpfully covered in our  ‘H is for Hops’ blog further up this alphabet of brewing). The hops add the vast majority of the taste and the whole of the smell. Late addition hops - as in hops that are put in towards the end of the beer making process - often lead to more pungent and powerful aromas. Dry Hopping - bunging them in to the beer as it ferments - does the most addition to the smell. That aroma! Yes please. 


Our sense of smell peaks at around twenty and then declines; it is also much better developed in women than men. So if you’re a twenty year old woman, get the beers in, they’ll never taste better. Men? Only Friendship Adventure can save you. You can smell things better in the spring and summer, due to the additional moisture in the air. For the same reason, smelling power is stronger after exercise (increased moisture in the nasal passage) which may explain why Lynx Africa is doing so well. Moral of the story: go for a run, reward yourself with a beer and you’ll set yourself up for the best beer of your damn life (that’s not a curse, it’s you saying daaaaaaaaaaamn!).


Your sense of smell can also indicate that you’re getting ill, as many of us will have experienced with a bout of flu; indeed, it is one of the symptoms of the now popular Coronavirus, which is the only mention it’s getting because we’re all sick to death of hearing about it. Losing your sense of smell usually isn’t permanent, but there are those that can’t smell, suffering from a condition called anosmia. This is trumped however by the poor few who suffer from cacosmia. Even a bunch of fresh flowers smells horrible as they perceive all olfactory input as something revolting and putrid such as vomit. Bit like working for [redacted big brewery] then. Heyooooo. 


On that colossal zinger, I bid you adieu. Someone is cooking something incredible smelling next door and I’m going to use a Friendship Adventure beer to parlay a spot at the table. In the words of William Smith Jr.


Go home! Smell ya later

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