Coffee vs. Beer: The Better Brew for Creativity

July 11, 2017 by Maryn Jacobs

The best part of waking up really is with Folgers in our cup [Exhibit A]. There is no doubt that coffee is the AM brew of choice for 5 out of 6 Rollers, and for some of us it possibly accounts for 70% of our bloodstream. (You know who you are.) This sweet black nectar is the perfect go-go juice to get the engines roaring and the work rolling. However, there are times when we need a pick-me-up, typically Fridays around the 4 o’clock hour, to really get the creative juices flowing. At these times, coffee simply won’t do.

Coffee vs Beer: The Better Brew for Creativity

Enter brew two—beer, our agency’s libation of choice [Exhibit B]. Studies show that a moderate amount of alcohol impairs your ability to focus, freeing up your brain from distractions and inhibitions, therefore increasing your creativity (Consciousness and Cognition). Neuroscientists discovered that you need to be relaxed in order to produce moments of insight. The “eureka effect” happens when front brain thinking can be moved to the back, activating the anterior superior temporal gyrus, which is responsible for moments of insight (PLOS Biology). Five seconds before the “Aha! moment” there is a significant increase in alpha brain waves which activate the anterior superior temporal gyrus. There is an undeniable correlation between alpha brain waves, relaxation, and creativity i.e. getting great ideas in the shower, or in this case, relaxing with a beer (Psychology Today). Side bar: There is a recommended two drink maximum—you’re still on the clock, afterall…and yes, bar pun absolutely intended.

Coffee vs Beer: The Better Brew for Creativity

Brew Battle Royal

Was that explanation too “Big Bang Theory” to follow? Let’s take the jargony mumbo jumbo out of the equation and apply the science to a real life situation. Sure, coffee and beer (in moderation) can easily cohabitate when you’re working in a creative environment, but let’s see where each has their strengths when it comes to a website project.

Your agency has been a kingpin when it comes to designing websites for clients. With that being said, coming up with fresh and innovative designs can be a challenge at times. You’ve been kicking around some ideas, throwing sketches out there, but that perfect solution is still brewing. (We’re coming for you, Punderdome). This is when a crisp, cold one can really shake things up. Roughly one to two glasses of beer will loosen the straps on your thinking cap by shifting laser focus away from the immediate situation and allowing your mind to wander freely, thus producing innovative ideas and designs.

Now on to the development side of things where an all-day code-athon is quite possibly in your future. We know you’ve been there, done that. Development involves focus and flawless coding, both of which can be benefitted by a jolt of java. Caffeine in coffee blocks adenosine receptors, which are “thingies” that tell your brain when you’re running out of energy. This then causes a reaction that results in an increase in energy and concentration (US National Library of Medicine, NIH). It only takes 5 minutes for this reaction to take effect! We are not recommending a caffeine IV drip, but a cup’a joe or two per day can really do the trick.

And The Winner Is…

Without a doubt both coffee and beer have proven potential in the workplace. As you can see, though coffee keeps you alert and focused, when it comes to creativity, beer is clearly the better brew. This potent potable produces the quintessential chemical reaction in your brain to grease the wheels of cleverness. Cheers to that!

To Brew, or Not to Brew?

This is indeed the question. As mentioned before, we enjoy these brews in moderation. Being a small agency, we have the flexibility and privilege to be in an atmosphere that allows us to partake in such activities. We use it as an occasional tool for team-building and brainstorming that ends in productivity and innovation. Don Draper we are not. If you do decide to drink at the office, first make sure it’s allowed, and always be wise, be safe…and be “hoppy”. We knew we could get one more in there!

Coffee vs Beer: The Better Brew for Creativity

The Duckpin ChronicALEs

Just a taste of our taste—it’s a difficult job, but someone has to do it. You can check our Instagram account @duckpinagency on Fridays for the latest and (hopefully) greatest entry in The Duckpin ChronicALEs. Tag us and share your favorites with #dpchronicales or let us know if you’ve tried any of our selections.

Chad’s Favorites:

* IPA // Firestone Walker – Fortem – Leo vs Ursus
* Dark Beer // Founders Brewing Co. – Backwoods Bastard
* Local Baltimore Beer // Peabody Heights & Goonda Beersmiths – DAMN

Andrew’s Favorites:

* Stout // Hitachino Nest – Espresso Stout
* Barleywine // Weyerbacher Brewing Company – Insanity
* New England Style Imperial IPA // Adroit Theory – EBK

Cara’s Favorites:

* Always her number one (partially sentimental) // Dogfish Head Brewery – Palo Santo Marron
* Belgian Quad Ale // Adroit Theory – All I See Is Carrion
* Barrel Aged Ale // Founders Brewing Co. – Backwoods Bastard

Noah’s Favorites:

* Cheap Beer // Natty Boh
* Middle of the Road // Breckenridge Brewery – Vanilla Porter
* Mo’ Money // Ayinger – Celebrator Doppelbock

Ryan’s Favorites:

* Scotch Ale // Great Divide Brewing Co. – Claymore
* Saison // Dogfish Head Brewery – Saison Du Buff
* Belgian Triple // Weyerbacher Brewing Company – Merry Monks

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the corner with my Maker’s and ginger.

Ready to grab a cold one?Let's Get Your Project Started

Ready to grab a cold one?Let's Get Your Project Started