What’s in a name?
Hoppy Ending Pale Ale. Arrogant Bastard Ale. The Great, Big Kentucky Sausage Fest. Blind Pig IPA. Brew Free! or Die IPA. Duck Duck Gooze. Smooth Hoperator. Hoptimus Prime. Dead Guy Ale. Pick a name of your favorite craft beer. Any name will do. To note, this column could have just been a list of really cool craft beer names. The above beers are reflective of the immense creative energy – and passion – that today’s craft brewers put into their work. There are so many more amazing names out there. And if you think the names are cool, check out the labels. The craft beer world is alive with marketing - and no brewer is immune to the great lengths it takes to make their beers stand out. In the world that is craft beer, legends of beers past can dominate a conversation – their brand lingering into folklore. Take New Albion Ale. As legend has it, in the late 1970s, a homebrewer named Jack McAuliffe, who, by the way, built his own small-scale brewing equipment, opened a brewery in Sonoma, California. From it came New Albion Ale, a full-flavored pale ale made with Cascade hops and a two-row pale malt blend. Recognized as the original American craft beer, New Albion Ale was a one of kind taste. Opened in 1976 – and closed in 1982, McAuliffe’s foray into craft brewing set a tone that others would follow - as one beer historian put it: “He demonstrated that the new brewing model could work and despite the fact that it didn’t last long and failed spectacularly.” As the New Albion Ale name lives in infamy, a host of craft brewers, by some account, more than 5,000 across the country, carry on McAuliffe’s passion for home brewing. So, what’s in name? You could make the case that it is everything. Each and every beer has a story that paints a definitive picture of the passion behind the sip. And if you think that sidling up to a bar and ordering a Yeastus Christ from To Øl brewery makes you something special, well, it does. It’s why we do what we do and drink what we want. So, as I finish off my column and reach for, I don’t know, a Bad Elf, indulge me in my quest to find out what beer names you love. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll tweet out our favorites.
Michael J. Pallerino
So, what’s in name? You could make the case that it is everything. Each and every beer has a story that paints a definitive picture of the passion behind the sip.
Until then, bottoms up.
CRAFT BRAND AND MARKETING