Let’s Start With Your Nose

When you smell something, you are experiencing orthonasal olfaction.

When you taste something with your mouth, you are experiencing texture, mouthfeel and aroma in retronasal capacity.

Nicole (c) & Lindsay (r)

Nicole (c) & Lindsay (r)

The universe that is our senses is different for every single person. Truly remarkable. And that makes it all the more remarkable that we can relate to each other – through what we perceive to be commonly  accepted terms of smell and taste.

In April I had the mind expanding pleasure to take in a talk given by a whole panel and beer & science folks. The two I want to highlight today are Lindsay Guerdrum, Sensory Analyst at New Belgium Brewing Fort Collins CO, and Nicole Garneau, Denver CO Museum of Science and Nature (here’s Lindsay talking up sensory; here’s Nicole’s TEDx talk).


What blows my mind is the science of taste and smell – something most of us take for granted. The wonder team of Lindsay and Nicole provided enlightenment, whet my appetite to learn more, and was highly entertaining. And the more you’re entertained in an educational setting, the more you retain.

Like they stated, “gluttony is not glorious.” I’d posit that enjoyment, moderation, savoring, and sharing is where the glory is.

So start with your nose…

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Keys To Business Success: Quality & Consistency

One of the primary keys to any business success is a true focus and commitment to quality. Another that goes hand in hand is consistency.

Great brands are built so the consumer can count on them.

In the beer world quality and consistency are talked about quite a bit. I think the conversation was jumped started a bit more when Paul Gatza, the Brewers Association, dropped the f bomb emphasizing quality import at the 2014 CBC.

Quality + Consistency = worthy brands

Quality + Consistency = worthy brands

I agree. If you choose not to fully dedicate to quality, get the F out. Of any business. The world has enough crap, enough sub par junk, more than enough mediocrity and middling service, enough detritus for us to float on for millenia. And yet some people, breweries included, still keep pumping out junk.

And no, this is not where anyone can trash ABI or SABMiller. Quality and consistency has helped them build their global branded businesses, keeping the experience for the consumer, the same every single time.

Sensory Analyst Lindsay Guerdrum, New Belgium Brewing, gave an enlightening and very thorough sensory talk at the 2014 CBC (lots to take in this year…as usual). I want to share a bit of what I took from her talk to this end.

  • Consistency + Quality = Key to Brand Success
  • You absolutely need to know your customer; You need to know who you’re responding to
  • “Make sure you’re shooting at the right target.”
  • Beer is inherently the variable, there is no gold standard
  • Aim for True To Brand; in lab speak – is it “Go” or “No Go”?
  • “N” can never = 1 on a sensory panel. You need 3+ people on panels

And in her summation, I’d stand up and shout YES:

Never stop training.

Thanks to Lindsay and New Belgium for continuing to set the pace for quality and consistency. People don’t call the brand Fat Tire (vs. New Belgium ) for nothing. They know what they’re doing.

Do you?

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