At Asylum, we appreciate cleverness and irony as much as any other website staffed by geeks. However, if one industry enjoys those things even more than bloggers, it's microbrewers
What began as peculiar marketing to set themselves apart from the Budweisers and Millers has become an all-out word war. The playful winks towards bawdiness are gone in favor of all-out raunch: poop, pee and other bodily fluids.
We will admit to drinking and loving most of these brews. We'll also admit to laughing at their names. So, we decided to launch an investigation to find out just what inspires all those less-than-appetizing monikers.
10. Moose Drool Brown Ale
the slobber from an elk with Down's syndrome or a fat Canadian dude
Neal Lathers, one of Big Sky Brewing
's founders, says, "We knew that we wanted to use Montana critters as our theme."
His partner, Bjorn, had his mom do the label artwork and she decided on a moose in a pond. Neal suggested Moose Drool
and it stuck. "If the name does turn some folks off, we're more than willing to lose a few potential customers in order to maintain such a memorable brand," Lathers says.
9. Bandersnatch Milk Stout
a monster got milked or very unpleasant female genitalia
Owner/brewer Joe Bob Grisham named Bandersnatch Pub
after a beast in the Lewis Carroll poem "Jabberwocky" ("the frumious Bandersnatch"). Grisham seems not to notice our snickering through e-mail. "That's the type of beer it is, Milk Stout," he replies. "A full-bodied stout with a full malt flavor, a sweet lactose finish and a creamy nitrogen head." Fine, be an adult about it.
a sex act between fat people or a dirty joke between butchers
Few names conjure an instant mental image and sound as well as Porkslap. We see and hear hog flesh being smacked each time. Chuck Williamson, owner of Butternuts Beer & Ale
, explains, "The name is a play on Park Slope [a neighborhood in Brooklyn]. I was doing some work for the co-owner of Park Slope Brewing, and when I started this venture I was playing around with some names. I already had the pigs as characters for the beer label. The name and vision all came together one long cold night, and now we all have Porkslap to enjoy!"
7. Kilt Lifter
a Scottish frat boy prank -- similar to teabagging. (The name doesn't immediately sound gross, but think about who wears kilts. Not sexy ladies. Pale, ginger men who don't wear underwear.)
Oddly, breweries fight for this name. Moylan's Brewery
used the "Kilt Lifter" moniker until it learned that Four Peaks Brewery
trademarked the name nationally and Pike Brewing
trademarked it in Canada. Owner Brendan Moylan says, "In the spirit of integrity in the beer business and mutual disdain for trademark lawyers, we chose to act within a gentlemanly manner and sell our product with an alias."
6. Old Jock
An undergarment for geriatric testicle support or the bully of a nursing home.
This isn't the first or the last time those Brits have fooled us with their cheeky expressions. According to a Broughton Ales
' spokesperson, "For centuries soldiers of the Highland and Lowland Regiments of Scotland have been referred to as 'Jocks,' powerful fighting men who have won battle honors all over the world."
5. Old Engine Oil
a bad reminder of the BP spill
English brewery Harviestoun
named its dark beer ages before the BP disaster
. Still, engine oil was never going to sound appetizing -- even before we saw pelicans failing to digest it. Harviestoun's Chris Miller says, "Our master brewer, who used to work for the Ford Motor Company, said this beer reminded him of gloopy engine oil. Most find it intriguing; America is our primary market for this product."
4. Salopian Entire Butt
A huge, fat ass, or possibly a juvenile game of one-upmanship: Boy #1 says, "You're a butt hole"; Boy #2 replies, "Oh yeah, well, you're a whole butt."
The cheeky Brits are back with their odd sayings. Salopian
's American distributor, Shelton Brothers, writes on its website
, "The original English term for porter, 'Entire Butt,' means essentially 'the whole barrel.' This translates roughly into American English as 'everything but the kitchen sink.'" Maybe that means there's even old engine oil in it?
3. Middle Ages' Druid Fluid
a medieval nickname for Chlamydia or a Renaissance Faire orgy gone wrong
Why? Middle Ages Brewing Company
wouldn't answer our queries about their barleywine's name. Maybe the truth is too disturbing. TheBeerBabe.com reviewed the beverage and said this: "It's enough to make you pause and think, "What on Earth was that flavor?" The fluid of Druids? Maybe it's not just an attempt at a clever name.
2. Dogfish Head Golden Shower
an R. Kelly
–approved sex act
After posing this question to Dogfish Head
, we were directed to a statement posted on the brewery's website: "The big breweries are selling a brand name and an image with such zeal that they have forgotten about the product behind all of this horsesh** and hyperbole -- the beer itself. Dogfish Head Golden Shower is the beer itself." Yeah! Fight the man ... except the name has since been changed to "Golden Revolution
1. Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Pooh Coffee
just what it is -- the oddest thing ever bottled
Each year, Mikkeller Brewery
in Denmark brews this beer especially for the Copenhagen Beer Festival
. The name changes slightly, but the main ingredient remains, Luwak coffee beans. For non-coffee geeks, this is the most-expensive coffee on earth. The beans are passed through the intestinal tract of a Kopi Luwak weasel -- meaning it eats and poops them out.
Brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø says, "I brewed an Oatmeal Stout with coffee and wanted to do a stronger version. Then I tasted the Weasel coffee which, because of its low bitterness, is excellent for brewing. I buy the beans directly from a coffee farmer in Vietnam."