Here’s another sign that the craft brewing industry is experiencing growing pains. With more than 2,000 breweries doing business in America, unique beer names are getting harder to come by. As a result, brewery owners are finding out–sometimes the hard way–that someone is always using that name and thus owns the trademark. While most disputes over beer names are resolved without a lawsuit–the copycat brewery simply chooses a new name–some say that tougher competition for market share has made people less cooperative.
American craft brewers love to rummage through mythology for names for their beer. There are brews named for Ninkasi and Osiris, Dionysius and Odin. The list of legendary creatures includes centaurs, griffins, unicorns, krakens, sirens, and the three-headed dog Cerberus, not to mention Bigfoot and Yeti.
Why do so many beers have such names? Philadelphia Weekly’s Eric San Juan offers a partial explanation: “From Egyptian gods to hidden beasts seen only in fleeting glimpses, we attach a level of EPIC to our brews that no other beverage can match. The idea of Odin’s Beard coffee or Serpent’s Tail orange juice would strike us as silly, but when it comes to beer, it just seems natural.” San Juan adds: “beerlike beverages go back at least 9,000 years, predating recorded human history. In a sense, they have been with us for as long as there has been an ‘us’.”
Pull up a chair. Pour yourself a beer. A big beer. We’ve got lots to talk about.
Dr. Fabulous, who blogs at Make Mine Potato, explains how he livens up his tasting notes in an amusing reflection called “Beer Vocabulary.”
Maxim magazine’s “The Best 25 New Beers in America” met with some biting criticism in the beer blogosphere. Stan Hieronymus rants with style about what’s wrong with Maxim’s list.
Boak and Bailey, a pair of beer bloggers from England, offer some pub recommendations for Canterbury.
Here are seven reasons to visit Brewery Ommegang this year. The brewery plans to release a new beer every two months. That makes six. The seventh reason? The Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, of course.
King me! Draft magazine has a list of the Top Ten Beers Named After Royalty.
Swedish college students staged a tongue-in-cheek protest over the Carlsberg brewery’s failure to build a 60-plus-mile beer pipeline to their student union.
Finally, the guys at The Lazy Brewer held an exploratory Amtrak pub crawl from California’s Central Valley to Sacramento. Ah, research.