The Best, and Least Best, Brewery Names

Author Not Credited

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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Big Batch Brew Day!


Written by Brandon Jones for

I’ve been looking forward to the day when I had the chance to write this blog entry…the day I get to talk about brewing a full size batch of sour goodness for the Embrace The Funk series at Yazoo. Yep on March 2nd Linus Hall and I brewed a full 40bbl batch on the big system! What an awesome experience it was to plan and gather up everything we needed to brew a Lambic style ale.

ETF1labelOne of the first items on the list was to figure out which yeast/wild yeast/bacteria blend to go with. We already have a single barrel batch (59 gallons) of Lambic style beer fermenting which we have been very happy with it’s progress since early Fall. That batch was fermented with a few goodies from my stockpile of funk and Bug Farm 5. So in what has been one of the coolest moments of my sour brewing adventure I worked with the Brewing Science Institute (BSI) on building up a proprietary sour blend based on our first batch. Working out the proportions of the different microbes to make up our ETF1 blend and actually seeing 40bbl pitch of it was one of those brewing moments I’ll always remember.
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From the Bottle Collection: Horny Devil

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with… The Bottle Collection.

Written by Ken Carman

Ale Smith Brewing
9366 Cabot Drive
San Diego, CA 92126
(858) 549-9888
San Diego, CA


A Belgian Strong Ale from Ale Smith. Belgian candi sugar, Trappist yeast, coriander: what’s not to like? Seems to me we rated this beer high when I offered it to my guests at Ken’s summer beer tastings.

Here’s more information on Ale Smith…

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Brew Biz: Werts and All

Craft Brewed
2502 Franklin Pike
Nashville, Tennessee 37204

Written by Ken Carman

  When I first saw a picture of the sign out front of Craft Brewed on Facebook: like what’s at the end of this column, I wondered where it was. Once I found out I knew what one of my first questions would be when I interviewed the owner: “Why?”
  What I found out made a lot of sense. This portion of Franklin Road has gone through many changes since we moved here in 78, though not as problematic as parts of East Nashville used to be, also going upscale. But, as owner Chip DeVier said, it’s… “becoming a hot area, rapidly gentrifying and, well, it’s close to home!”
  While small, Craft Brewed is a comfortable, easy place to down a pint with perfect product placement in visually artistic, locations. Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”


Written by Jerry Buckley for The Brew-Score and

Buckley logo buckwheatThose of us who have been around long enough to have a little (or a lot) of gray around the temples, can surely remember the hit song “Anticipation” by Carly Simon; a top twenty radio standard from 1971, which relates the artist’s state of mind as she awaited going on a date with superstar Cat Stephens.  The song was resurrected as a soundtrack for a Heinz ketchup commercial in the late 1970’s.

Well, “anticipation” seems an apt way to summarize my feelings each time I cook up a new batch of homebrewed beer.  Being an adventurous rookie brewer, I have yet to brew the same style of beer twice.  Each brew day finds me seeking to expand my repertoire, searching for a certain self-fulfillment of doing something a bit different from the standard fare.  I suppose you might say I am still seeking to find my “favorite” style of homebrew.
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