Beginning with the bold pronouncement, “Fact — Geologists Love Beer,” Wired magazine explains Why Geologists Love Beer.
This week in San Francisco, the American Geophysical Union is having their annual convention at Moscone Convention Center. According to Wired:
“Every other convention assumes that if you have a beer, your brain goes soft,” said Kathy Sullivan, who has been serving beer at the AGU meeting for 26 years. ”But not the geophysicists. They think if you have a beer, you can still learn things. So they do.”
At the Thirsty Bear, the closest brewpub to the Moscone Convention Center where the annual meeting is held every December, the waitstaff claims this is the busiest week of the year for them. I heard from the Borehole Research Group at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory that one server at the Thirsty Bear said the staff can’t take vacation days during the AGU meeting ”because the geologists are coming.”
Betsy Mason, the author of the article — and a geologist and beer lover herself — polled the 16,00 convention attendees to try to figure why a love of rocks translates to a love of beer. Her results make entertaining reading. And, this insight is personally good news, because it explains yet another one of my own peculiar obsessions. I, too, love rocks. From childhood, I’ve been fascinated by them and to this day always pick up interesting rocks during vacations to bring back home as souvenirs. Throughout my house, I have jars and plates displaying the rocks I’ve found all over the world. Before now, I just thought it was another one of my odd obsessions, but I’m happy to learn it’s just part and parcel of my love of beer, the two apparently go hand in hand.
Watch the video below, bartender Kathy Sullivan is my new favorite person. Listen to what she has to say about the geologists drinking beer at their convention.
“It’s the only convention that thinks adults know whether they can drink and pay attention or not. Every other convention assumes that if you have a beer your brain goes soft, but not the geophysicists, they think if you have a beer you can still learn things … It’s treating people like adults as opposed to children.”
I took a college friend of mine and his girlfriend attending the AGU conference to Thirsty Bear. The night before, he had been at First Amendment with a bunch of convention attendees. He’s actually a civil engineer who’s research interests are in water management, and a Professor at Michigan Tech University in tiny Houghten, MI in Michigan’s upper peninsula, which still boasts two brew pubs despite its size and remoteness.
Don’t know why Geologists like beer, but Geology encompasses Geograhy, and craft beer is a lot about place. Perhaps that is the connection.
Jay – next year you should take a video crew to that event & ask the attendees hitting the beer booths what they know about “beer stone” 🙂
As a geologist of sorts and member of AGU, I attended the meeting 2 years ago. Not only did I find my way to the Thirsty Bear, as the article suggests, but I also took the opportunity to sample many local beers that I just don’t find in my part of the mid-west. One of my favorites for that week was Lagunitas IPA.
Another aspect of the “Geologists love beer” story: After the afternoon sessions of the meeting, beer carts are wheeled out to Moscone lobbies, fostering a more informal dialogue among the scientists. When I attended, Anchor Steam was served from the carts. This year, a friend of mine attending the meeting lamented on her facebook page that these carts run out of beer far too fast, apparently unable to keep up with the geologists’ thirst. But that’s OK, because those dried out beer carts get the geologists to leave Moscone for the Thirsty Bear and other watering holes.