Welcome to a new series: The ABC’s of Women, Beer and Food. These may well be 3 favorite things of many folks so it’s time to dig in with a glass, fork & spoon!
A is for Aroma.
One of the first things we notice when enjoying beer and learning more about it is aroma. Lately I’ve come to know that aroma can contribute something like 90% of our overall flavor experience. Since our nose and mouth are inseparable, this makes sense (pun intended).
When you have a beer in front of you, be sure to examine the aroma. I like to teach a few methods that I have learned from other beer professionals.
1. Drive by: Take a fresh pour of beer and draw it evenly under your nose while inhaling normally, once slowly from side to side. Repeat as desired. If the beer has been sitting a while, refresh the aroma by agitating the carbonation in a swirling motion, with your hand on top of the glass to prevent spilling. Swirl and before lifting your hand away be sure to breathe in the aroma.
2. Bloodhound: Take a freshly poured beer and stick your nose deep into the glass. Take a few average size smells, being sure not to be a vacuum cleaner or a hamster. One’s too deep (scent simply runs down into your lungs), one’s too light (not enough strength to get aroma into your oral cavity for a proper sniff).
Aroma applies to your foods as well as other beverages you want to enjoy. Smell them all. They all have aromas to offer.
1. When eating foods, get a hold of the goods at hand with fingers, fork, spoon or tongs, lift to your nose and try the same methods listed above.
2. Explore the food aromas in different temperature ranges: cheeses cold, cheeses slightly warmed up, cheeses room temperature. You’ll experience a vast range of aromas. NOTE: make sure to watch for food safety – don’t leave sensitive food items sitting out too long as to sacrifice safe consumption.
Women and men can learn volumes about beer by doing something as simple as smelling beer before consuming it. While there is a bit of info out there on how women and men may taste differently, WEB is mostly concerned with the simple exercise of actual participation. We’re leaving the science to others.
And in the end, who cares if we do or don’t. What is key to remember is that EVERYONE enjoys aromas, flavor and therefore beer.
Extra Credit Exercises:
- Pour a fresh beer into various kinds of glassware and see how different the aromas can be, per shape and size of glass.
- Set a timer after pouring the same beer into 3 – 5 different glasses (same style or different) and smell them in 5 minute intervals.
- Write an essay if you wish, share with friends. Better yet, do these exercises with friends. Beer brings people together – be the facilitator.