Nov 2008 29

A great beer should always be associated with a great name.  I still get a kick out of Dogfish Head’s no longer named Golden Shower and can imagine two brewers concocting the moniker after a long night of drinking ended with one peeing on the leg of another. Lost Abbey beers have seemingly pious names for strong, spell-binding brews that make me recite Benjamin Franklin’s affirmation that “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” They’re equal opportunity for Sinners and Saints alike. And what’s not to say we don’t have a little of each of those in us?

For those aficionados who still have a bottle of Santa’s Little Helper with the true Santa depicted, you must get a kick out of the newer labels with the Jolly Ole’ Elf blacked out- it’s the new Kwanzaa brew! And it always amazes me when a particularly stimulating name (Erie Brewing Hard Cock Ale and Young’s Dirty Dicks Ale both come to mind) seems to escape the liquor board’s gag on the First Amendment. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a “date night” assortment from Russian River of Desperation, Masturbation, Fornication, and Penetration, offering four different outcomes depending on the success of your date.

I’ll often pass the time on long road trips by thinking of beer names and over the years have come up with a few good ones. Some of my favorites include Hop Scotch (predictably an IPA/Scotch ale blend) which I believe has since been named for a beer by no fewer than four breweries, and Yeast Infection (think Cantillon-like with spontaneous fermentation) because I’d love to hear a guy order a pint of it- or it’s sister beer Monistat 7. I also think Ginger’s Ale is a quirky name indicative of a tasty, ginger spiced ale, as well as mALEstrom, a true Winter Warmer that tastes like a powerful vortex of malty spices aged in some scotch or whiskey barrels. My most recent idea for a beer name is Milf Stout- a slightly aged, slightly bitter milk stout. If you don’t drink it fast enough, it’ll sprout a nipple Attention craft brewers and even home brewers- feel free to use the moniker Milf Stout on one condition- send me a case to sample!