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Old 11-10-2009, 10:02 PM   #1
imaguitargod
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Default I have anosmia which could be a problem…advice needed

Ok, for those that don’t know, anosmia is the medical condition of having no sense of smell. In my case it was genetically inherited (my mom’s father had it, my mom has it, I have it). I was born with it and it slowly degraded and then completely disappeared about 20 years ago. So I don’t know what beer or hops smell like nor do I know what a lot of things smell like.

To quickly address the sense of taste issue, yes, I do have only about 20% of what everyone else has. Subtle flavors are completely lost on me. I have worked very hard on my beer palate and for that area I would say it works pretty damn well. On an interesting side note, when I eat hot peppers I get my full range of taste back.

Now, I’m going into brewing, currently applying for assistant brewer positions across the US and starting to wonder how I handle this situation. I’ve gotten along quite well with my handicap as a home brewer. Everyone tells me my beers smell fantastic so I know I can brew great smelling beer.

But what do I do when it comes to a professional setting. How heavily do brewery workers rely on that sense? In an interview should I just come out and ask them if my condition would be a problem? Should I fake it (that just sounds wrong)? Should I just not even bring it up to them? Should I bring it up by play the “handicapped person overcoming his disability” angle?

Sorry if I put this in the wrong area, I looked around and felt that since this was of a personal nature, the Chit Chat area was best suited.

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Old 11-10-2009, 11:52 PM   #2
GrizlyGarou
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That's tricky. I'd bring them some of the beers you've brewed from recipes you created, and maybe work on making some hot pepper gum or something so you can constantly chew that. I don't see why you'd have to be able to smell if you've been brewing for a while and been getting along fine. Deaf people and blind people do stuff you wouldn't think they'd be able to just because they're used to being deaf or blind after all...

That's all I've got.

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Old 11-11-2009, 01:41 AM   #3
Baja_Brewer
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I really can't offer much advice here, but I'm chiming in to see what others come up with. If you have a fairly refined beer palate, I wouldn't stress too too much about it. Obviously it is of concern to you, so I would recommend heading over to probrewer.com and signing up for an account and putting your question to those guys, I imagine they'll be helpful. All Ive ever seen is good vibes from those guys.

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Old 11-11-2009, 12:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Brewer View Post
I really can't offer much advice here, but I'm chiming in to see what others come up with. If you have a fairly refined beer palate, I wouldn't stress too too much about it. Obviously it is of concern to you, so I would recommend heading over to probrewer.com and signing up for an account and putting your question to those guys, I imagine they'll be helpful. All Ive ever seen is good vibes from those guys.
OH! Probrewer! I go there every day to visit the help wanted section.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:32 PM   #5
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I suffered trauma to the front of my head a few years ago which caused me to lose my sense of smell completely for about a year. Since that time I have recovered about 25-50% of my sense of smell, which is all I will get back. The rediscovery of smells was a strange process within itself, but I won't go into that here.

My point is that you can brew without a sense of smell. I brewed before my accident and after with no change to the quality of what I produce. Currently, I work part time in a brewery in addition to my regular job. I've been very open with the other brewers about my disability, and they have been very supportive. I don't hesistate to bring in my beers for them to try, and they are always quick to invite me in for QA tastings of their products and those of other brewies. I've always been asked about my perceptions, and I feel that my feedback is as important to them as any of the others on the tasting panel.

I don't think you can go wrong with being truthful. Although, I wouldn't go flaunting my disablity right off of the bat. I would wait to tell anyone until they had a chance to see how hard you can work. Nobody is going to care if you can't smell when you have to clean out the lauter tun, wash kegs, run a caustic cycle, etc. You'll be part of a team of brewers who will help you work with/ through your disability.

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