Journey Through The Senses International Exhibition

Los Angeles, Spring 2022

Zach Rosen is the Curator of Beer component page.

Welcome! My name is Zach Rosen and I am a beer writer, educator, and event designer. I will also be your curator for the beer experiences found throughout Journey Through The Senses. When I started down the path of beer 17 years ago, the American craft beer scene was not nearly as prevalent and vibrant as it is today. As I spent the years training my palate for the Certified Cicerone® exam (the beer equivalent of a wine Sommelier), I noticed that my environment and setting was having a noticeable impact on my perception and the accuracy of my palate. 

This led to an idea that the environment and beer flavors could be curated and paired to tell a story. After passing the exam I turned my focus to abstract beer pairings and since then have collaborated with artists, dancers and musicians, pairing beers with everything from Shakespearean performances to the natural setting of the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. These different events fuse my background in chemical engineering and art, and allows me the freedom to study any subject and relate it back to beer.

Beer begins with an idea and brewers can design the flavors and experience of that idea with engineering precision, allowing for as much expressionism as an artist’s brush on the canvas. Breweries like Dogfish Head show that beer is more than just a set of flavors, it is a story. From their Ancient Ales series, a collaboration with biomolecular archaeologist Dr. Patrick McGovern to recreate the beers lost to time, to their range of music-inspired beers that have captured the flavors of everything from the Grateful Dead to Miles Davis, these beers are designed to tell a story through a full sensory experience.

Aroma and taste is one of the most elemental forms of sensory communication. The chemical compounds that compose a perceived flavor translate the nutritional benefit and risks associated with the food and drink being consumed, speaking to the deepest parts of our psyche, memories, and emotion. Ideas that have been explored by design firms like Bompas & Parr. Their range of intricately crafted environments and interactive installations have expressed not just the sensory experience, but the role that ritual, gesture, and memory play in our perception of food and drink. From strolling through interactive robotic beer gardens to immersive beer chairs that pair audio-visual haptic experiences to specific beers, the beer experiences created for Journey Through The Senses will take the audience on a journey through all of their senses, examining how flavor and human behavior relate, and ultimately, how beer pairs with life itself.

ZACH ROSEN