Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Nerd Nite North Bay #1: Sustainable Brewing, Andean Culture, and The Dead

Tuesday, October 7 – 7pm
Hopmonk Tavern (224 Vintage Way, Novato)

Tickets available here:



Join us for the first ever Nerd Nite North Bay! Drink beer and learn about ancient Andean culture, sustainable beermaking, and Deadheads! How do they all connect? Sustainability! The ancient Moche civilization farmed with very little water, you can in fact brew beer in a sustainable way with very little waste, and the Deadheads were all about loving mother earth (especially earth’s ample production of mind-altering substances). Hang out with smart people and learn some stuff while drinking beer at the North Bay’s premier nerdy event.


“From Suds to Buds and The Power of Poo: Imaginative Reuse of Water, Energy and (yes) Human Biomass in the Brewing Cycle” by Jonathan Robertson and Nico Chiarito

The perfect brew is fragrant, crisp, and slightly chilled. Achieving this requires exacting processes and quality ingredients — both of which are energy and resource intensive. Jonathan and Nico explore how progressive breweries are using technology (and just plain common sense) to reduce their environmental impact and to turn what would normally go to a landfill into a valuable commodity. “Waste” biomass (both organic and man-made) is nutrient rich material that is in large part an untapped resource in the United States and contains enough energy to power most of our basic needs and enough nutrients to restore our farmland. By breaking what we normally think of as the traditional waste stream linear process and realizing that waste and reuse are a cycle, the impact of civilization can be reduced and lead to a more sustainable world.

Jonathan Robertson is a licensed mechanical engineer and certified BBQ judge.

Nico Chiarito is a LEED accredited professional and award winning micro brewer.


“Not Yo’(Pacha)Mama’s Agriculture: Low Water Innovation in Ancient Andean South America” by Vanessa Christman

If the last terrible Indiana Jones movie is your only exposure to South American “archaeology”, come learn much more interesting (and accurate!) things about the Ancient Andean societies which stretched from Columbia to Bolivia. Despite living in some of the Earth’s most inhospitable climates, there is no evidence of starvation among members of the Ancient Incan Civilization. And did you know that the members of the Moche Civilization often depicted themselves tripping balls and having sex in pottery designs? Put down your quinoa salad and come feed your brain with fascinating facts about the most ingenious, adaptable, and under-appreciated societies of all time.

Vanessa Christman is the Assistant Director of the San Rafael Public Library. She was an undergraduate TA for the UC San Diego Anthropology Department and worked in the USCD South American Archaeology lab. She is not an archaeologist, but she owns a really cool fedora and may or may not have a whip at home.


“Deadheads: A Business Model for Nerd-dom” by David Dodd

The Grateful Dead bookshelf spans many different sections of the beloved Dewey Decimal System, from straight-ahead philosophy to business theory, musicology, sociology and technology. From The Dead’s early experiments in telepathic communication, attempts to capture the perfect sound inside the Great Pyramid’s inner chamber and a prescient prototype of a recording medium readable by laser, the Grateful Dead (and their fans) have fearlessly explored a wide range of human endeavors. Alongside every adventure they were supported by a ragtag army of what could only be called Grateful Dead nerds, famously known as Deadheads. Learn about the utter nerdery that is the Grateful Dead’s music.

David Dodd is a librarian, amateur musician, and author, editor, and compiler of three books about the Grateful Dead. He lives in Petaluma, and finds time to indulge his nerdish tendencies with a weekly blog about the Dead’s songs on the official Grateful Dead website,