So, I suppose it is a little ironic that I forgot this edition of the Session until today. But, given that beer is more related to the erasing of memory than the fixing of it, maybe that is natural. Interestingly, there is one memory related story - possibly apochrophal - that experiences during alcohol consumption are more vividly recalled during subsequent alcohol consumption than in the intervening dry period. At least that's what a few med students I once knew said they were doing when they had a beer when studying and then another just before the exam.
So, what is the difference between beer memories and favorite beers or pubs or beery events? I don't know. Is there a best cheese memory? I don't know that either. So let's review the actual topic again: "is there a beer that reminds you of a specific memory?" The answer is, of course, yes. The trouble really is that there isn't just one beer that reminds me of a specific memory. They all do. Think just of some of the early Maritime beers of my life: Keith's IPA reminds of the foul pong of the urinals at the Seahorse in Halifax, Schooner of my pals picking the old foil labels onto my carpet during a party. That is the point of branding - to make a cognitive connection...though not necessarily the ones the branders desire. Beyond brand, there is the more elemental reality of taste and how taste itself is tied to memory. Taste evokes. Instant coffee for me relocates me to an Annapolis Valley church hall in the 1970s before my father's services. In the same way, stale beer takes me to college jobs in bars and the pong of the carpets while the scent of Labatt Blue takes me to the backyard when I was a little kid, my Dad letting me stick my finger in his beer, the bitterness disgusting me. Mt. Hood hops trigger that memory, too, as well as, sometimes, a bit of the disgust. Another memory might not be about consumption but association with a brewery but there's none in my family or my pack of pals as far as I know. No one owned the village pub. No one delivered the casks. Now, Scots golf course maintenance and whisky brokering...that's a different matter.
Beer and memory. It's a tricky one. I may have more on this later.