Brew Biz: Werts and All

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

Written by Ken Carman

The Topic: Beer Names They Should Really Rethink (Stouts)

Warning: by the very nature of the topic, this edition of Brew Biz is a little ribald.

This started as an innocent quest. Now it may be a perpetual one. This edition will be about Stouts. I’m sure I’ll do more: it’s a fun, and a funny, topic. You wouldn’t believe all the names that one might want to consider, or reconsider.

It all started when I was looking at a bottle in The Bottle Collection: I had just bought more Old Engine Oil. While I have seen Old Engine Oil classified in many ways, to my palate it’s more of an Old Ale, or even a Scottish Ale wouldn’t be that far off. (80?)

Well that name has always given me pause. Who would like to drink old engine oil? But given an either/or choice by Murray the Enforcer I might cringe and drink that before I’d drink Black Water Stout from Foothills Brewing & Beverage Co. Of course you have the controversial Blackwater group, but that organization that has simply rebranded itself would be more a partisan issue as to the appropriateness of the name. But while “Black Water” may seem otherwise innocent to you, having toured as an entertainer: living in various “resorts” with motorhomes and my own “tour bus” in them, “black water” has a very specific meaning. It’s what hopefully doesn’t leak out until you get to the dump station that came straight from the toilet.

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