I recently read a piece by John Foyston in The Oregonian relating how five bottles of an ultra-rare beer named Hair of the Dog Dave sold separately at auction for a combined $2838.30. Had there been a sixth, Foyston points out, it would have amounted to a $3,500 sixer.
After cringing a bit, I had to laugh. If it had been a wine, the name on the bottle would have been something pompous sounding like Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne. However, these bidders shelled out up to $719 per 375ml for a tipple named Dave. You have to love the working-class ethic of the craft beer community.
Thinking about the humble name given to such a pricey beer led me to consider how many odd names exist in the craft beer world. I'd like to offer my take on the 10 coolest beer names:
10. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde How can you not love a beer that calls itself "End of the World?" Fortunately, the only thing that will end after enjoying this complex brew is your ability to make do with just any beer.
9. Harveistoun Old Engine Oil Mega-breweries spend millions of dollars on image building, cultivating a look, image and an enticing name that's not distasteful. Then there's the Harviestoun brewery in Scotland that simply looked at its tasty old ale and named it after the first thing that came to mind: Old Engine Oil.
8. Sweetwater Happy Ending Imperial Stout The name refers either to living happily ever after or the beer's great finish. It has nothing to do with massage parlors. Would a brewery that also has beers named Donkey Punch and 420 go there? I think not.
7. Ridgeway Santa's Butt A butt is a wooden keg of beer. The picture on the bottle of jolly St. Nick's butt crack peeking out from his baggy pantaloons ensures no one misses the double entendre. It has the distinction of having been banned in Maine and New York.
6. Buffalo Bill's Alimony Ale Billed as "the bitterest beer in America," this India Pale Ale is clearly the brainchild of someone disenchanted with the notion of till death do us part.
5. Dogfish Head Golden Shower Originally named Prescription Pills, the brewery was forced to change the name, lest someone think it was a pharmaceutical. Golden Shower saw one release before the government folks figured out what they'd approved. The beer is now known as Golden Era.
4. Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Pooh Coffee The coffee added to the beer is pooped out by a civet (a catlike mammal that loves coffee). A bit literal? Yes. But still funny.
3. McQuire's I'll Have What The Gentleman On The Floor Is Having Barley Wine The name is a subtle hint that at 12 percent alcohol by volume, this beer is meant to be sipped. If you can drink it faster than you can say it, slow down!
2. Avery Collaboration Not Litigation This beer typifies the spirit of the craft brewing community. Vinnie Cilurzo of Russia River Brewing and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing realized they both had beers named Salvation. Showing a selfish disregard for the financial health of America's lawyers, the two brewers decided that instead of suing each other, they'd team up to brew this bold beer.
1. Wasatch Polygamy Porter The slogan explains perfectly why this is the coolest beer name ever: "Why have just one?" I have big love for this beer's name.
— Joey Redner is a Tampa resident and world beer traveler.