The Best, and Least Best, Brewery Names

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alesmithAt some point this year, there will be over 3,000 breweries either operating or in development in the US (the most our nation…or ANY nation has had since the days when households stopped being breweries). It’s bad enough trying to come up with a catchy beer name to make your product stand out…but with THAT many breweries in America, you also have to think long and hard about what to name your ale factory. You could go with the tried and true method and just name your brewery after local geography (Russian River, Fire Mountain, French Broad). Or you could name the brewery after yourself (Bell’s, F.X. Matt). But those names don’t always “pop”.

Now I know what you’re thinking…who gives a shit? Fair point. But just like beer names and beer labels, your brewery’s name IS an important marketing tool. Picture yourself sitting in a bar with a choice of two IPAs on tap. Which are you more likely to order? The “Stellar Brewing Supernova IPA” or the “Bird Poop Brewery’s Cloaca IPA“. The Cloaca might be head and shoulders above the Supernova, but there’s the embarrassment factor to consider. In that vein, I sifted through the thousands of American brewery names and culled out my favorite 50 (and, of course, my least favorite 50). It should go without saying that the name on the bottle has absolutely ZERO impact on the quality of the beer. In fact, my #1 least favorite brewery name is considered one of the great American ale factories. On the flipside, having a killer brewery name does not guarantee that you’re cranking out super suds. It’s just marketing. But since you’ve come to depend on the Aleheads to make superficial judgements AND to create utterly useless lists, I’d hate to let you down.

So with that preamble, let’s jump into the the 50 Best and 50 Least Best American Brewery Names:

50 Best American Brewery Names…

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Louisiana’s Craft Brew Scene


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Louisiana was once known as the beer capital of the South, but it’s now better known for go-cups and legal drinking on the street. While Louisiana ranks 11th in the country for beer consumption per capita, it’s 47th in number of breweries. The state only had six production breweries and two operational brewpubs at the end of 2012, but 2013 may see the opening of at least five more breweries and a new brewpub.

Josh and Jamie Erickson began pursuing their dream of opening a brewery back in 2010 after brewing at home for several years while raising a family of four boys. “Compared to many other states, we are behind when it comes to the number of craft breweries in existence, so we wanted to be a part of changing that here, helping the Louisiana craft beer scene grow,” Josh says. The Ericksons created their flagship beers, Voo Ka Ray IPA and Old 504 coffee-infused vanilla robust porter, and acquired a small industrial space in Mandeville to brew commercially. Last month, the Ericksons’ Chafunkta Brewing Company was approved by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) to begin brewing and selling its beer commercially.

When San Diego transplant Scott Wood met Louisiana native Lindsay Hellwig in New Orleans, not only did they begin a family, but also a craft beer partnership called The Courtyard Brewery that would merge West Coast craft beer sensibilities with the rich culture of Louisiana and New Orleans. Wood’s great-uncle was a pre-Prohibition commercial brewer. “Brewing is in my genetic code,” he says. They’ve acquired brewing space in Bywater, and once the space has been configured for brewing and the equipment is in place, they hope to be licensed to brew and serve by the middle of the year.

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