While working the other day, I came across this unassuming graphic on an outdated case of Belhaven Oatmeal Stout. Our store does not usually make a habit out of carrying old beer, but when a wholesaler has to dump something off, they know where they can go. My current employer is the second largest distributor (by sales) in Bucks County, and was Numero Uno until the owner opened up the biggest (by volume) distributor, approximately 4 miles away. Anyway, we have plenty of customers that will gladly pay $18.99 for a 7.5% abv stout that doesn’t taste too off from when it was originally $59.99.
As a “beer expert,” (seriously, try me) I have noticed over the last decade that many consumers confuse the hue of a beer with its “weight.” Now in this instance, they would be correct to assume that a darker beer would be “heavier” than a lighter beer (I refer to Ultra as a “heavier” water). What very few people know; however, is that Guinness is actually one of the lightest beers you can drink. Twelve ounces of Guinness is 125 calories and only 4.2% abv, and perhaps even less filling is the fact that it utilizes a nitro mix; that is, approximately 75% nitrogen to 25% carbon dioxide. So for all of you “Guinness is too heavy for me” people, consider yourself learnt.
As an engineering student, the word weight can have a few different meanings. The grade weight of certain exams, projects, or other assignments is something that we all spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to decipher; time that would most certainly be better spent improving said grades.
Weight, as a student of physics, is a force of course. You can’t have weight unless you have a mass, such as 14 kilograms, and then we have to multiply that by the gravitational constant ~9.81 m/s^s. That gives us a beautiful “W,” which is much lovelier in SI than all of that lb-f and lb-m nonsense. I am sure that someone around here could be a real stickler and bring up the fact that gravity is variable depending on elevation. Personally, I would tell that individual to take a hike to Nevado Huascarán in Peru, which according to this study from 2013 is 9.76932 m/s^2.
Perhaps the weight that many of us are most familiar with is a figurative manifestation of the physical force. The weight of our course loads, our assignments, and our exams. Perhaps you’re like me, and you are maintaining a job during your education. Perhaps you are insane and are working full-time while dealing with this major. Don’t forget about that personal life, which depending on your ability to cope can range from non-existant to chaotic to therapeutic, and not necessarily in that or any other order.
What I have discovered about this major is that much like a structure that needs to support many loads (shout out to you CE’s), even in the most dire of straits we seem to band together and lessen the reaction forces. Working with my fellow engineering students has provided many valuable lessons about teamwork, and when we are all working on that problem for 4 hours together, it lessens the weight on my mind (and hopefully yours).
Anyway, I noticed this “misprint” on the package, and I decided to mention this to my coworkers. For some reason I like to make frequent use of engineering, math, and science dialogue or references. I’m not sure if it’s because I want to show off (as if anyone actually cared haha), or if it is because I actually like to think in those kinds of terms. If for nothing else, my pursuit of an ME degree has revitalized my ability to think more critically (not that this was a critical thought) about inconsequential events in the universe.
Upon informing my coworkers of this travesty on a dusty case of old Scottish stout, I was sarcastically informed that, “you can’t get anything by these engineering students,” in jest of course. I can’t blame anyone for mocking my tendency to make these connections of everyday occurrences to my studies. If you know me, then you know that nothing is safe from my lighthearted ridicule.
And that’s why I love our major. I am certainly not the only one around here that knows how to keep it light while maintaining workload efficiency. Thanks for helping with the weight.
Also, thanks for reading and best of luck this weekend!