Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's in a name?

Dost a name maketh the beer? Or is the idea of naming a beer an arbitrary decision that shouldn’t take up important time that could be better spent drinking the very beer that is being named?
My firm belief is that the name should be the lowest on the list of priorities when crafting a beer but I can’t help the feeling of fun and satisfaction when you come across a name of a beer that is just perfect. 
Let’s have a look at a couple of my favourites.

Bridge Road B2 Bomber

It’s big. It’s bold. It’s well equipped for any aerial assault in a combat situation.
It kind of even looks like a stealth bomber. Almost blue-black, has a steely glow, is undetectable by radar and quietly sneaks up on you when you least suspect it.
I remember fondly of a night at Biero when I first had the B2 Bomber and before long it had  swept across the clearings of the venue and opened fire on my platoon. 
Casualites. Even collateral damage. 
Enjoyably consumed. Enjoyably named. 

Murray’s Spartacus  

Right. The Spartacus.
Is this the most aptly named beer that we’ve seen? I’m saying that it is. It’s big. Big in the most empirically Roman way you could possibly imagine. Constructed to stand the test of time and be remembered as a symbol of greatness. Think Colosseum. That’s what I mean.
The perfectly apt name has been paired with a equally applicable tag line now that it has been bottled. “It Kicks Arse.” It certainly does. 
I could write all the words in the world but none will capture The Spartacus like that does. 
It kicks arse. 

2 Brothers James Brown

It’s tough to discuss this beer without breaking into a shameless, possibly offensive impression of James Brown (the musical artist, obviously). 
I don’t know if I’ve heard any review, description, shout out, passing comment or eavesdropped conversation about this beer that didn’t include the word “funky”.
This will be no exception.
Funk is a hard thing to capture in the form of taste. In this case pure funk is bottled, labeled and distributed to participating bottleshops. Banana and chocolate is rampant over a beautiful Belgian ale. 
Get up, get on up.

Hargreaves Hill Phoenix

A big, brash, red bird rising from the ashes in the intense heat of the leaping flames, but all the while gaining strength through the ascension to the heavens.
What? You think this is a ridiculous description of a beer? 
Clearly you’ve never had the Phoenix. 
It’s the biggest, smokiest, strongest red ale that you could lay your eyes on. Even swirling the head around gives it an ash-like look. Drinking the ale through this head gives the visual representation of the red bird rising from the ashes!
I don’t know what more you want from a beer name. 

Murray’s Imperious

Adjective: Assuming authority without justification; arrogant; domineering.

Another entry from Murray’s? I know what you’re thinking. Come on Dave, show some imagination and talk about a different brewery. Well if you just relax and read on then you might agree with me. Geez.
Let’s go back to the dictionary meaning. Assuming authority without justification. 

Perfect name for this big ale. 

The Murray’s Imperious burst on to the scene of the Great Australian Beer SpecTAPular without much notice, but it quickly established itself as the big man on campus weighing in at 11% as the heaviest beer of the day and it was an instant favourite of mine. 
The Murray’s folk seem to have the knack for a good name.

There is a sample of some names I've particularly liked in the past. 

If there are any that I have left out that need a mention then please remind me. It's late, you can't expect me to remember all the great names. 


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