Beer and Memory

I had a pint (probably schooner) of Clown Juice at Brewdog Camden sometime mid to late 2012. (I wasn't even using Untappd at the time so can't check). And it's one of my first memories of drinking Magic Rock. I'm sure I had drank them before but Clown Juice just stuck with me. The name was memorable enough but so was the beer. It's a 7% hopped up Wit Beer, it's described as an India Wit Ale, it's hazy like a wit with orange peel used as well. It was delicious, I proclaimed my love for it and drank a few of them.

It's now almost four years later and I now co-own and run a craft beer shop a ten minute walk from Brewdog Camden. Magic Rock are now based in a new facility and have a brand new magnificent canning line. It's thanks to this new canning line (and Caps and Taps) that I got to sit at home with a can of Clown Juice in my hand. This is a beer I hadn't thought of for a few years but drinking it now is bringing back those memories at Brewdog Camden and how life has changed since then.

There have been many studies on the relationship between taste/smell and memory, one theory is that it's to protect us from rotten and poisonous food. Our brains store the negative emotional memories if you become sick after consuming something, so that flavour will then cause disgust and nausea every time you try to eat it again, therefore reducing the possibility of making the same mistake again. Cue jokes about people not touching tequila or whisky for several years. However the brain is also storing happier emotional memories which means you can enjoy eating and drinking something even more if it has a happy memory attached to it.

My brain seems to work best with beer related memories, but that may just be down to how often I'm drinking it. The prominent flavours and textures just stick with you, and when you revisit certain distinctive beers those memories come flooding back.


Unfortunately the shop has sold out of Clown Juice so I can't even plug it to sell to you guys at the end of this blog. There are other beers that also do this for me, mainly hoppy American ones that can transport me back to a holiday on the West Coast, but that won't relate to the majority. That said Bear Republic Racer 5 is back in stock... 

We also have Brooklyn Summer Ale in, which many people have a similar relationship to due to its seasonality and fun summer memories. So why not start making some great memories with some great beers.