We at the bayblab take beer drinking and science very seriously, and these new findings are cause for concern. The study is mostly a correlation between beer consumption and citation counts. As per the abstract:
"One of the most frequent social activities in the world is drinking alcohol. In Europe, most alcohol is consumed as beer and, based on well known negative effects of alcohol consumption on cognitive performance, I predicted negative correlations between beer consumption and several measures of scientific performance. Using a survey from the Czech Republic, that has the highest per capita beer consumption rate in the world, I show that increasing per capita beer consumption is associated with lower numbers of papers, total citations, and citations per paper (a surrogate measure of paper quality)."
Unfortunately I do not have access to the paper in question to peruse the figures but here are some great quotes about the results from the NY Times:
“It’s rather devastating to be told we should drink less beer in order to increase our scientific performance,” Dr. Symonds said."
"Though the public may tend to think of scientists as exceedingly sober, scientific schmoozing is often beer-tinged, famous for producing spectacular breakthroughs and productive collaborations, countless papers having begun as scrawls on cocktail napkins."
"Yet the new study shows no indication that some level of moderate social beer drinking increases scientific productivity. "
"More important, as Dr. Grim pointed out, the study documents a correlation between beer drinking and scientific performance without explaining any correlation. That leaves open the possibility that it is not beer drinking that causes poor scientific performance, but just the opposite"I think this needs to be investigated to find the optimal number of beers to produce good science. We'll get into this matter as soon as we've figured out the optimal number of beers for bowling... So what is your citation count and beer consumption?