No Sense of Smell!

We posted a question on Face Book asking everyone what they thought would be the worst thing that could happen to a craft beer drinker or brewer. We did reveal what we thought would be one of the worst things which is losing your sense of smell.

This question is somewhat out of the blue however it’s an experience that I’m personally going through right now. If you read our post craft brewers conference blog entry, a couple down, I reported that I got sick. Food poisoning first then while my system was down, bronchitis moved in. This is nothing really scary to have, yes you don’t sleep much and the coughing puts you in a 24 hr stomach crunching mode (go abs! well lack of) but it’s all doable, just need to rest. Just being Brian, I should have known things were going to be stepping up a notch, my sense of smell completely dropped off, if you find it please let me know.

It all started when I finally got well enough that I could have a beer. Being absent for a week of not having anything drove me to picking out some kind of double west coast IPA, it was our symposium beer that we got at the conference. So there I was, just cracked open the bottle (usually at this point I can smell a little something of hops but nothing), poured it into an open fluted glass and quickly brought it to my nose. Sniff, sniff, uumm wow this beer could use a little more hop aroma! No I said, so I tried it again, still same response. Odd I thought so I took a sip, bitterness was right now but where is the aroma?

It didn’t dawn on me until yesterday when I was packing up our recent Saison that is dry hopped. I purposely drove the fermentation temperature up near the high 80’s to crank out those wonderful fruity esters out of the yeast. I was pulling a sample right from the fermenter and noticed that I couldn’t smell a darn thing. After tasting it, was kind of bland however I did sense the tart finish (this beer turned out to 1.004 so it’s perfectly dry). Not understanding what was happening I went and pulled a sample of our IPA which I know the profile to, again, no detection of aroma. No-o-o-o-o!

This is a bad dream! What do you do in a bad dream, slap yourself to wake up. So that’s what I did, I slapped my nose with another beer, still no life. Right then and there I realized that I simply can’t smell. What now? Well I’m praying that this lack of smell thing is going to rid itself from my body and I can return to the life of smelling wonderful beer. I will tell you, it sucks not being able to smell all those truly amazing components that are presented in beer. We all take that for granted. I’ll keep you posted on my, well lack of ability to sniff. The brewery will go on regardless!