Wine waiter woman during blind tasting various alcoholic beverages. Sommelier exam to study different wine and beer.

Superpowers and Blind Spots

It’s obvious that we human beings are all pretty different from one another—in appearance, experience, attitude, gender, and countless other attributes. Each of us has things that come effortlessly and others at which we struggle. It goes without saying that these differences affect our abilities as tasters. But how, exactly?


Diving Into Beer’s Aroma Pools

Beer is more complex than any other beverage known. No one’s keeping the master list of odor chemicals, but it’s huge. Hops alone contain more than 1000 terpenoids with citrus, floral and other aromas, with many other chemicals, too. In malt, Maillard and other browning processes create hundreds more. Fermentation and subsequent maturation creates a third enormous family of aromas, yet there are more. Add them all up and you get far in excess of the widely quoted number of 600–1000 odor chemicals in wine.

Brewer’s Art – Generative AI

A New Swing at an OG IPA

Like living organisms, the evolution of beer styles follows a principle called “punctuated equilibrium.” This states that as long as conditions remain unchanging, there is little evolutionary change other than random drift. But when conditions change, entities either adapt or radiates to fit changing niches or gets pruned back as unfit. With long-dormant American beer, changes started in the 1970s.

A full glass of cold lager beer with frothy foam.

The Limits of Lager

When beer culture was a shiny new thing decades ago, experts often divided the world into lagers on one side and ales on the other. Some even equated lagers with white wines and ales with reds. The idea was that ales were bolder, stronger and more bitter than lagers. Assuming that lager meant only pale, pilsner-like beers, maybe there’s some logic to it.

Group of six business people team sittiing together and holding colorful and different shapes of speech bubbles over their faces.

Beer Bubbles

I’m not talking about the bubbles swarming into foam on top of that IPA in front of you, but something entirely different. It’s the bubble inside which every one of us lives, traveling through the world looking out at our own personal version of reality as we drift through it. The Hindus came to this conclusion millennia ago, and in many ways their metaphor is increasingly verified by science. Nothing about our perception is objective. To understand, we must abandon the comforting notion that our senses provide accurate and truthful representations of the world around us.

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