I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, but knew I would need a day where I had a decent amount of time for research. If you just want to read the review, you will need to scroll for a while. Sorry about that. Today, I want to talk about beer names. I love when beer names are puns. Often I make Steve buy me beer just because I giggle when I read the title. I don’t even necessarily care what kind of beer it is or what the reviews say. The name makes me laugh, so I want it.
Around Christmas, I had him buy me a Run BMC from the Bruery. And a few weeks ago, he bought me a Fantastic Voyage from Perennial. That is around the time that I decided to write a post about beer names that are also song titles or band names. Since then, I’ve been keeping a list of all of the beers I come across that would fit my criteria. There are a ton. Sadly, I haven’t had as many as I would like. I am going to stick with writing about my favorite 15 names today. Remember, this is a list of my favorite names, not necessarily my favorite beers.
15. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald
This one is strange to start off my list. The beer name is a naval disaster and a song title. The reason this made my list is one of my best friends absolutely loves this song. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot isn’t the best song ever, but it makes me think of this friend every time I think of the beer. Great Lakes brewery releases varieties of this beer often during their Firkin nights. Sometimes they are aged with vanilla, or coconut, or chocolate, etc. I’ve tried a few. The varieties are better than the original, but are only available at the brewery. Cheers Dan!
14. Left Hand Fade to Black
This one isn’t higher on the list because it isn’t a pun, per se. It is simply the same title as a Metallica song. I still like it, it just doesn’t make me snicker. Left Hand does a pretty good job with their dark beers. Fade to Black has 3 versions. Volume 1 was a foreign stout; 2 was a Smoked Baltic Porter; and 3 is a Pepper Porter. I’ve had 3 for sure. It’s hard to know what I want from a pepper porter. Fade to Black starts out a bit creamy and dark and then this flavor of ground black pepper comes through. The warmer it gets, the more pepper flavor comes out. If you let it warm up too much it is almost like drinking a spoonful of pepper.
13. 21st Amendment Back in Black
Here is another beer name that simply took the same title as a song and didn’t use the English language to improve upon it in any way. AC/DC would be proud of this Black IPA. 21st Amendment made a black IPA that works. It is dark, yet hoppy. The crisp, clean hoppy kick is there in a dark beer without the thick viscosity. This beer comes in a can, but that just helps ensure the flavor will remain if the can sits on shelves for a while. Find one in your local bar and try it. If you like IPAs, you will enjoy this beer.
Steve and I went to see Sade last year. John Legend opened. It was quite the experience. Smooth Operator is a pretty good song. The name of this beer is even better. I did sample this one last year because I giggled when I saw it. It wasn’t that good. But it doesn’t matter. Not only is the name impressive, but the gazelle in the leisure suit on the label is also fantastic.
11. Rogue Love and Hoppiness
Steve and I have a special love for Al Green. Our song is Let’s Stay Together and we went to see Al Green the night that we got engaged. Love and Hoppiness was brewed by Rogue for the brewmaster’s wedding in 2005. It’s a really good beer. Light, crisp, and hoppy. There have been a few releases since 2005, but not this year, according to Rogue’s website.
10. Redhook Haulin’ Oats Stout /Stillwater Holland Oats/Tenaya Creek Hauling Oats
Three breweries chose to dedicate beer names to the amazing Hall and Oates. I am sad that I haven’t tried any of them, although the Redhook and Tenaya Creek version are retired. I did see one on the shelf yesterday, oddly enough, but didn’t buy it. I can’t remember my rationale at the time. Even if the beer is bad, it can’t really be bad. It was the Stillwater version which has a likeness to Hall and Oates on its label. I should have sampled it just for that feature alone. I’m kicking myself. I’ll be heading back to that bar soon, I am sure, and that beer is mine. I’m not a Rich Girl, but it Might Make My Dreams Come True.
9. Alpine Willy Vanilly
I know, this is a band (or pseudo-band/lip syncers’) name, but it still makes me chuckle. When I saw this on the menu at Alpine in Southern California, it was my first choice, even above some of their best beers. I just had to have it. It was surprisingly good if you like yellow cake with vanilla frosting. The sweetness and vanilla flavor stood out above all. It wasn’t thick and cloying though, so it was a lot better than some of the other sweet dessert beers out there. If you like vanilla cake, and you can find Alpine, get it. And sing Blame it on the Rain while drinking it. You have to sound better than the actual artists. I use the term artist loosely.
The Primus song Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver may not be for everyone, but it is funny and catchy. Voodoo even hasWynona sitting on a beaver on the label. I haven’t had the opportunity to try this beer yet. I’m not normally a brown ale fan, as there isn’t a ton of flavor, in my opinion. Voodoo describes this beer as having 3 varieties of hops added though, so maybe it would be well-balanced with a hop kick at the end. That I would enjoy.
7. Horny Goat Baby Got Bock
While I haven’t had this beer, other beers by this brewery are not really very good. But the name and label are humorous. When I saw this beer on a menu, I immediately wanted it, even though I didn’t know who the brewer was or anything about it, other than it was clearly a bock. Bocks have their place in my heart in the late fall, early winter months. Their maltiness can be overwhelming, especially as they warm. But I have a few every year. Even though it was May, I wanted to try this beer for name purposes only. Sadly, the establishment was out. Double sadly, the other beers that we ordered by this brewery were below-average. Sir Mix-a-Lot would be devastated.
6. Brains Craft Brewery Weiss Weiss Baby
I can’t get this beer as it is brewed in the UK, but I still like the name. Brains is a new brewery that opened in 2012. Maybe someday I will get to the UK, as they don’t ship to the United States yet. Goal number one if I ever get to Europe, try a Weiss Weiss Baby. This is a Berliner Weiss, which isn’t usually my favorite style, but I will push all of that aside to sample a beer named after one of my favorite songs of which I still know all of the lyrics to. Oh, Vanilla Ice, why did you have to make a movie with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You sealed the fate of your very short and limited career. Go Ninja, go Ninja, go!
5. Perennial Fantastic Voyage
I realize that I am contradicting myself by allowing Fantastic Voyage to be ranked so high when I relegated Fade to Black and Back in Black so low due to their uncreative use of song title. And maybe I just like Coolio’s song beer. I don’t know. But this beer makes me want to sing. I also look at beer drinking as a journey, so I think this name just makes me smile. C’mon, any song that says, “slide, slide, slippity slide,” in the chorus is fun. We actually haven’t had this yet. There are a couple of bottles of this milk stout with coconuts in the basement though, just waiting for me to consume.
4. Hanson Mmmhop
Yes, you read it. Hanson, the short-lived brother band who gave us the hit tune, Mmmbop, has released a beer. Don’t try to tell me that Mmmbop didn’t get stuck in your head, even if you hated Hanson and their fresh-faced good looks. Mmmhop puts that song right into my head again. I’m currently humming it as I type. Hanson had plans to release this pale ale in early 2012. I haven’t seen it or heard about a release date. But I will be first in line if it ever occurs. Mmmbop, ba duba dop, Ba du bop, ba duba dop, Ba du bop, ba duba dop, Ba du, yeah. Best lyrics ever! *There are reports that this was a hoax, but I want it to be real. The label is not real.
3. The Bruery Run BMC
Steve was on one of his favorite beer shopping websites. He called me into the room to look at a Russian River beer that he was considering buying. My ADD self, was looking at everything on the page, when I saw this listing. I immediately craved it. The Russian River beer was in the past, Run BMC was the future. Steve, of course, wanted to click on the link, find out what kind of beer it was, read reviews, etc. before purchasing. But I was sold from the title. We cracked this open with friends at a Bruery party we had last winter. As with many Bruery beers, it was funky. So, it also probably could have been called Brass Monkey. I’m pretty sure Hop Bunny T and I were singing Brass Monkey, that funky monkey anyway. Run DMC, great band. Run BMC, great beer.
2. Fulton Beer Sweet Child of Vine
I saw this one listed as a recommended beer on Untappd. I have never heard of Fulton Beer, which doesn’t deter me from wanting this beer. It is an IPA, but Fulton claims that it is very well-balanced. One of the reviewers on the site claims it tastes and drinks like a sessionable IPA, even though it doesn’t technically qualify for session beer status. Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N’ Roses has been my cell phone ring tone for the past 3 years. I want and need this beer. Anyone want to take a road trip to Minneapolis?
1. Terrapin So Fresh and So Green, Green
I love Outkast. So Fresh, So Clean is one of my favorite Outkast songs although there are many that I love. I need this beer. This is currently on my bucket list. Actually, this currently IS my bucket list. If you have one and want to send it to me, I will be eternally grateful. How can this beer not be fabulous?! Unfortunately, we don’t get Terrapin here in Cleveland. I’ve had the ability to try some Terrapin beers from trades and friends. They make a good beer. I really enjoy their Wake N’ Bake, which is a Coffee Oatmeal Stout. Anyway, this is my number 1 beer name that is related to songs and bands. It makes me laugh every time I think about it, which is a lot.
Do you have a list? Remember that mine is based on my taste in music and what makes me giggle. Feel free to post your favorites.
Jackie O’s Dynamo Hum
Dynamo Hum is an American Wild Ale (read: sour) that is brewed with raspberries and has raspberries added. It is also a pretty raunchy song by Frank Zappa, hence the long blog post. The first sip that I took was face-puckeringly sour. I may have even hit the bar in my flailings. The second sip wasn’t as shocking, so went down a bit smoother. No face or flailing this time. I’ve just gotten into sours and this one was pretty good. It may have had a bit more raspberries than necessary, but that may be because of who Jackie O’s is trying to market to. The can reads that this is their version of a framboise. Framboise is the French word for raspberry and typically means distilled with fruit in the beer industry. The label is pink. Women’s Health Magazine has a beer buzz section dedicated to it. I think that sometimes beer that is marketed towards women is often the sweet ones. I’m not sure if they feel like we have different taste buds than men or if we just like sweet things. Dynamo Hum was a good sour, that is a bit too tart/sweet for my tastes, but not by much. I would have one again, and I believe I rated it at 4, which in my brain means I liked it enough to have more. I would just caution Brad, the brewer at Jackie O’s, to stick with this level of raspberries or decrease a bit so as not to produce the overly sweet and tart beer that some framboise’s become.