Written by Sheldon King, Cellarman
Have you ever wondered how your favorite beer got its name? Maybe its a play on words or a phrase. Maybe its named after the types of hops or other ingredients used to make it. It could possibly be named after a tool or piece of equipment commonly used in a brewery. Or maybe its named something completely asinine just because. Whatever the case may be, it is the goal for every person naming a beer to come up with something unique. But what some people might think is a fun and easy job is actually an extremely difficult task.
When it was my turn to brew a beer for our Brewers Series I wanted to come up with a name that not only described the beer but was also slightly witty. I sat down and came up with a list of about 15 names and picked out my favorites. I got on Google and started searching for originality. One by one the names got crossed off my list until they were all gone. Out of 15 names, not a single one was original. There were actually a few names that were in use by multiple breweries. At that point I started searching random names that came into my head until I finally found one that brought up no search results. Was it my favorite? No. Was it funny? Nope. Did it describe the beer? Yes, and that was good enough for me after being denied all the other names.
With over 3,000 breweries in the U.S. alone, imagine the tens of thousands of beer names that have already been taken. With new beers being brewed every day, the names are only going to get weirder and weirder. So next time you see a beer name that you think is stupid, realize that maybe it was their 16th choice and ran out of other options.
Do you think you have what it takes to be a Master Beer Namer? Leave a comment with a beer style and what you would name it, maybe you will see it appear on our tap list someday!