Naming a beer these days is the kind of thing that keeps brewers up at night. Should they just call their latest creation by its style — Odell IPA, for example — or should they try to give it a name that will stand out? If they do, will the brewery be sued, or will it receive a cease-and-desist order from another brewery, or a winery, or a magazine with a similar name? How long should they spend Googling the name or searching online in Beer Advocate or the federal trademark website to make sure someone else hasn't though of that name first? Should they try to think of something so crazy that no one else will have the name? Is it even worth it? The answers are different depending on the brewery and the beer. But the results are worth it when a brewery hits on a beer name that makes you laugh, or cringe — or plunk down some cash.
Trump Hands, which won Cannonball Creek Brewing a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Session Ale category, is one such beer. Read on for twenty other crazy Colorado beer names.
Cannonball Creek Brewing
Sure, this 4.6 percent ABV IPA won gold at GABF, but that's not why it's a champion. No, the beer wins for its name, a play on the small amount of alcohol and the Internet's impression that Donald Trump has small hands. Oh, and it will be back on tap at Cannonball Creek soon, according to the brewery's website.
Living the Dream Brewing Company
Living the Dream Brewing
Like all the best things in this world, Helluva Caucasian, a stout that is available in cans, takes its name from a line from The Big Lebowski . "Modeled after a White Russian cocktail with espresso, chocolate, and peanut butter," the brewery also put the beer into an unforgettable can.
Old Bums and Beat Cowboys
Fiction Beer Company
All of Fiction's beer names are inspired by scenes or characters in books — not surprising, considering the name of the brewery. There's Feely Effects, from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World; A Beer of Very Little Brain, from A.A Milne's Winnie the Pooh; The Game Is Afoot, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series; and Old Bums and Beat Cowboys, a pale ale inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road. And while Kerouac, who hung out in Denver, would probably have preferred a seedy dive along Colfax Avenue to a more inviting craft brewery along the same street, Fiction says the beer is "sure to elicit a 'wicked grin' similar to Sal’s when he finally sets his eyes upon the city of Denver in On the Road."
From Brabant in early 2009 through Dépuceleuse, Quinquepartite, Obscuro & Nimbosus, Momi Hiwa and L'Eighyore, Avery has been giving the beers in its acclaimed Barrel Aged series standout names from the beginning. The latest (number forty ), Scarlata Cucumis, is an ale aged in oak barrels with cucumber and tropical hibiscus flowers. The very rare beer was recently released in the brewery taproom. And though its name isn't any weirder than the rest, it is the most recent in this oddly monikered series.
Imperial Something Came in the Mail Today
Wiley Roots Brewing
This imperial stout with hazelnuts and almonds was tapped in the Wiley Roots taproom on October 25 and named for a viral YouTube video. "Reminiscent of amaretto, marzipan, and chocolate, this is a perfect beer to pair with dessert," the brewery says. The beer will also be available in bottles.
Black Bottle Brewery
Mom, The Meatloaf!
Black Bottle Brewery
Black Bottle loves to have fun with its beer names. There's Hipster IPA, Just a Minor Threat Imperial IPA, ShhhShhShhShhhh, a sour red, and There Goes the Neighborhood, a Belgian Rye saison. But Mom, The Meatloaf, an 8.2 percent sour brown ale, takes top honors when it comes to weird names. An homage to Will Ferrill in Wedding Crashers, the name is nearly as funny as the scene.
The Hunt for Red Oktoberfest
A brilliant tie-in between Comrade's Communist-themed names, the Communist-themed movie The Hunt for Red October and marzen-style Oktoberfest beers. As Comrade says, Welkome to the Party.
The artwork for Card Your Mom.
Card Your Mom
A twisted play on the word "cardamom," which is one of the ingredients, the name for Card Your Mom comes from the spice's moniker as the "mother of all spices" and is one of several funny names that Caution uses. The beer itself is a farmhouse-style saison with lemon, mint, pepper and floral notes.
Wit's End Brewing
Urban Dictionary definition for "banana hammock": "A men's style of undergarment that holds the genitalia in a sling-like hammock apparatus." Yep, but this summer seasonal also lives up to the banana part of its name, offering a load of banana flavors, "those familiar European characteristics one might find, say, on a beach... with just a hint of American style and certainly more taste," the brewery says.
Call to Arms
Shirtless Putin Nuzzling With Dolphins
Call to Arms Brewing
Russia's leader certainly impressed the world with his shirtless horseback ride — something that has become a meme. And you can count the brewers at Call to Arms among the impressed, so much so that they have created a couple of Shirtless Putin beers, including this one, which was on tap last month.
Phish phan? Yeah, there are plenty of you out there in Colorado, and it takes a good one to pick up on Joyride Brewing's most recent IPA series, each named for a phrase in the song "Cavern." There was Director, Serpent Deflector, Mudrat Detector, Ribbon Reflector, Cushion Convector, Picture of Nectar, Virile Dissector, and Hormone Collector, which is the final one and which just went on tap at Joyride.
Keep reading for more crazy beer names...
Denver Beer Co.
Denver Beer Co
This one might remind you of former president George W. Bush, but the name really came from a contestant in a beard-and-mustache contest who became friends with a DBC employee. And, of course, the name is also evocative for its association with the blissful German-inspired combination of beer and pretzels. This is a classic Vienna lager with Munich and caramel malts, DBC says, adding, "No pretzels were harmed in the making of this beer, but we can’t vouch for pretzel safety while you imbibe."
Collaboration Not Litigation
An oldie but a goodie, this beer name dates back to 2004, when Avery Brewing founder Adam Avery and Russian River co-owner Vinny Cilurzo discovered that they were each making a beer called Salvation. Rather than fight about it in court, the two decided to shake hands and brew a collaboration that they named after the concept itself. And though times have changed, the spirit of the beer — and the beer itself, which Avery makes every couple of years — lives on.
Twisted Pine Brewing
Ghost Face Killah
Twisted Pine Brewing
This beer, made with ghost peppers (which were known as the hottest chiles in the world at one point), got national attention when it was first brewed in 2011. Brewers at Twisted Pine were a little nervous at first because they'd named it after rapper Ghostface Killah from the Wu-Tang Clan without asking for his permission. But Killah was reportedly happy. His only request: a couple of cases sent to New York.
Mama’s Little Yella Pils
Oskar Blues is known for making reference to any and all things marijuana-related. But this brilliantly named beer makes reference to more serious-minded prescription drugs — typically downers or anti-anxiety medication. Of course, that has nothing to do with the fact that the beer is a pilsner.
A brilliant pun, despite the slightly non-PC name, Mexican Logger is, yes, a Mexican-style lager. The cans for the 4.2 percent brew used to depict a Mexican man with a chainsaw, but now features only the chainsaw. Oh, and it's made with Saaz hops. Get it? Saaz, like a saw. Oh, you did get it? Never mind, then.
Funk the Man
River North Brewery
Most brewers and brewery owners got into the business because they have a bit of a rebellious streak, a desire to avoid cubicles and a penchant for doing things in their own way. So they can sometimes be a little irreverent. Last year, River North Brewery was kicked out of its home by landlords who decided to develop the spot into a large luxury condo complex. River North responded by brewing Funk the Man, which encapsulated both the style of the beer — a funky, Brettanomyces-fermented brew — and their feelings toward their former landlord.
Although the brewery doesn't focus on them as much as it used to, its Office Space series of beers, including TPS Report, Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta, Oh Face and Red Swingline were all brilliantly named and illustrated on the bottles. Red Swingline was particularly funny thanks to its artwork and association with Milton's favorite item. Earlier this year, Trinity worked out an agreement with the company that actually makes red Swingline staplers so it could keep using the name.
Lawyers, Guns and Money
Crazy Mountain Brewing
Crack a few cans of this 10 percent ABV barleywine/double IPA and, yeah, you might end up needing someone to send you lawyers, guns and money — just like Warren Zevon in his 1978 song of the same name. The beer, a deliciously hot mess of over-the-top hops and barley, might also get you stuck in Havana, Honduras or mixed up with the Russians. "Be cautious with this beer, as overindulgence can result in the shit hitting the fan," the brewery says in its description.
Mockery Brewing Co.
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Like its other limited-edition bottled beers, Wardrobe Malfunction and Commitment Phobe, Mockery's Generation Boomerang tells a funny little story on the label, equating the production of the beer to a real person. In this case, it's about a beer that spent a little too long in its parents' basement — or, rather, a red-wine barrel. The art on the label also makes the name even funnier.
Saving the juicy bits for last. That's what most people do. Or maybe you head for those first? Either way, this beer, which might take its name from either a citrus-industry term — the beer, after all, is a juicy New England-style IPA — or something a little more naughty, it is effective in getting the point across.