This is a “re-post”…so for all of you expecting some changes from the original list, I apologize. Over the past few months, we’ve seen steady traffic to Aleheads by people searching online for the “Best Beer Names”. Unfortunately, I had the original “Top 50 Beer Names” posts broken up into five entries which made it a little unwieldy for visitors and search engine users. So I figured I’d do the world a favor and combine them all into a single list to make life easier for the intrepid seekers of beer knowledge. So without further ado…the 50 Best Beer Names:
50. Smooth Hoperator (Stoudt’s): The Aleheads generally frown on Hop-related puns since there are so many of them out there. But if you’re gonna go down that road…you might as well let Sade be your guide.
48. Hell (Surly): The light-bodied Helles version of Lager is about as pale and unintimidating a beer-style as you can find. So I’m all in favor of Surly giving their Helles beer a bad-ass name.
47-45. Old Ringworm, Old Horizontal, Old Leghumper (McNeill’s, Victory, and Thirsty Dog respectively): The Brits often add the word “Old” to their beers (like Old Speckled Hen and Old Thumper). I like all three of these versions of that convention. Old Leghumper sounds like what you’d do after 10 beers. Old Horizontal sounds like what happens to you after 20 beers. And Old Ringworm sounds like the result of being Old Horizontal for too long in a pile of your own filth.
43. Mama’s Little Yella Pils (Oskar Blues): A great session beer…and a solid reference to the “candy” your Mom used to take after you threw a tantrum when she turned off Thundercats.
41. Buster Nut Brown Ale (Watch City): If you don’t know what busting a nut is, it’s what the Baron does every time he talks about the Three Floyds brewery.
40. Parking Violation (Russian River): Russian River has a habit of naming their beers with the suffix “-ation”. Sanctification, Supplication, Temptation, Defenestration, Mortification, etc. These names are all cool, but just a touch pompous. So I was very happy to see them take this conceit and name a beer after something utterly plebeian.
39. Effinguud (Valley): An amusing name that looks like a fancy Dutch or Belgian word until you actually read it aloud.
38. Brother Thelonius (North Coast): We’ve discussed the Brother at length, but I still love the name. As an American version of a Belgian Abbey Ale, North Coast named the brew after our very own “Monk”…Thelonius.
37. Dad’s Little Helper Malt Liquor (Rogue): Mom may have her Valium, but Dad’s got his Malt Liquor and brown paper bag when the kids act up.
36-35. Puppy’s Breath Porter, Panty Peeler (Cigar City and Midnight Sun respectively): I didn’t know where else to put these brews in the list. They’re just great names that remind Aleheads of two of our favorite things…puppies and panty removal.
34. Druid Fluid (Middle Ages): Middle Ages tends to give their beer Medieval names like “Dragonslayer” and “Armoury Ale”. Those are a little too D&D for me, but Druid Fluid is just awesome. Well done, guys.
33. Alimony Ale (Buffalo Bill): The tag-line is “the bitterest brew in America.” Nice.
32. Vertical Epic (Stone): A brilliant name and even more brilliant concept. Every year, starting on 02/02/02, Stone releases a beer for Aleheads to cellar. Then, one year and one day later (03/03/03 through 12/12/12), Stone releases another Vertical Epic. If you’re patient enough to cellar all the brews for over a decade, you should end up with 11 bottles of Vertical Epic for the ultimate beer vertical tasting (a vertical tasting involves drinking offerings from the same brewery but different vintages…as opposed to a horizontal tasting which involves drinking beers from different breweries but the same vintage).
31. Collaboration Not Litigation (Avery): It’s a story to warm the hearts of even the most cynical Alehead. Avery and Russian River realized that they both had brews in their line-ups called “Salvation”. Rather than sue one another for the rights to use the name, they combined the two beers into a wonderful concoction. Ain’t cooperation a beautiful thing.
30. Crazy Ivan (Bear Republic): Named after the Russian sub maneuver in Hunt for Red October. Ramius always goes to starboard at the bottom half of the hour.
29. Vanilla Ice (Flying Fish): Flying Fish has some pretty big balls to name a beer after one of the biggest punchlines in music history. I back it.
28-27. Three Sheets Barleywine, Velvet Merkin (Ballast Point and Firestone respectively): “Three sheets” is, of course, short for “three sheets to the wind”…one of the classic euphemisms for being drunk. In nautical terms, “sheets” are the ropes used to control a sail. If your three sheets are to the wind, you have no control over your sail and you’re just aimlessly flailing around in the water…much like a staggeringly drunk man. A “merkin” is a pubic wig used by clean-shaven prostitutes. I assume a “velvet merkin” is nicer than a polyester one.
26. Vampire Blood (Sprecher): According to True Blood, vampire blood is highly addictive. So be careful with this one.
25. I Want You (Wee So Heavy) (Minneapolis Town Hall): Not the Beatles best known tune, but” I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” is a pretty solid song to name a Wee Heavy-style brew after.
24. Moloko Milk Stout (Three Floyds): If you ever wanted to know what the drug-spiked milk that Alex drank in A Clockwork Orange tastes like…well, it probably tastes like this delicious brew from Three Floyds (incidentally, this is the beer that made me truly appreciate the magic that Three Floyds was capable of…thanks Baron!).
23. Haulin’ Oats Stout (Redhook): Ohhhhhh here she comes/Watch out boy she’ll chew you up/Ohhhhhh here she comes/She’s a maneater!
22. Evil Dead Red (Alesmith): “The first passage will allow the demon to manifest itself in the flesh.” “Why the hell would we want to do that?!”
20. Baron Von Awesome (Piece): Now THAT’S a confident beer name.
19. Blithering Idiot (Weyerbacher): A classic name for a classic beer.
18. Substance Abuse: (Terrapin) Thanks a lot for reminding me of my problems, Terrapin. Assholes.
17: Sappy Slappy Bastard (Founders): A maple version of Founders incredible Scotch Ale. Just a fun name to say.
16. Chocolate Rain (The Bruery): Some stay dry and others feel the pain.
15. Smell The Glove (Old Dominion): Never had it, but I assume this beer goes to 11.
14. Lumpy Gravy (Lagunitas): One of the least appetizing and best names for a beer ever. I love it…plus it’s Frank Zappa inspired.
13. The Dude’s Oat Soda (Ommegang): Who the fuck are the Knutsens?
12. Bananas N’ Blow (Short’s): Seriously…I have no idea. Sounds like a fun night though.
11. Fred (Hair of the Dog): Hair of the Dog often gives their beers “real” names. Fred is the funniest to me. So there.
10. Badonk-A-Dunkel (Port): Port Brewing has lots of amusing names, but for my money, this is their finest. Fun to say. Fun image. And they even worked a beer pun in there. The best of all worlds.
9. Polygamy Porter (Wasatch): The best tag-line ever…”Why have just one?”
8. Smells Like Weed IPA (Dark Horse): No dicking around here…just telling it like it is.
7. Hoptimus Prime (Legacy): Hands down the best hop-related pun there is. Autobots transform and roll out! A shout-out to Doc for making the Aleheads aware of this one.
6. Hop Whore (Tyranena): Of course, even better than a hop-pun is a name that describes how much the beer likes to fuck hops for money.
5. Donkey Punch (Sweetwater): Sorry about your neck, honey.
4. Wizard Sleeve (Kuhnhenn): Arguably the best line in Borat. Look it up…
3. Nut Sack Ale (Boulevard): Mmm…your nut sack is delicious!
2. Tastes Like Burning (Ralph Wiggum’s Revenge) (Ithaca): I bent my Wookie! This almost took the #1 spot, but…
1. Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Select (Dogfish Head): It may look like gibberish, but to a certain generation of males, it’s the only practical way to defeat Red Falcon. I submit that the only way Dogfish Head could top this name is if they were to release a beer called “007-373-5963 Punch-Out Porter”.