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Behind the name of your favorite brews

February 8, 2019 GMT

When it comes to beer, what it tastes like is the most important thing.

But what about the names of the beer? They can be as creative and intriguing as the brews themselves. And if they have a good story behind them? Even better.

Take LTS for instance.

“Most of our beers are named for concepts or ideas loosely associated with our “Life’s Too Short” motto,” LTS co-owner Brandon Schulz said. “There are a few others that have different inspiration. Our CTRL+ALT+DELETE beer name comes from the PC computer world, where that key sequence is used to break out of a misbehaving program or, in some cases, to restart the computer entirely.”

Kinney Creek founder and brewer Donovan Seitz said their offering, Sunny Days, hearkens back to his homebrew days.

“It was one of my original homebrews that my wife named as we were sitting on the deck, having that beer on a sunny day,” Seitz recalled. “The name will always remind (us) of sunny days.”

Sometimes the names are a little less casual. While some people want politics to stay out of business, others realize that can’t happen, and never has. And more importantly, that it shouldn’t.

Forager’s head brewer Austin Jevne says the restaurant/brewery will name an upcoming beer Freedom of Peach to call attention to the current socio-political climate.

“We live in a great country with a wonderful and beautiful spectrum of diversity, which makes America great,” Jevne says. “We are fortunate to all have a voice and I am hoping to keep it that way. I believe we as Americans should invest in children and their education, our crumbling infrastructure, the arts and sciences. I think we as a nation should tear down the walls of fear and hate before building them based off those same emotions.”

Beer can be fun, political, or personal. For Little Thistle, one of its beers is an ode to the head brewer’s family.

Once upon a time, co-founder and head brewer Steve Finnie’s great-great-grandmother saved 15 sailors from a thrashing ocean during a Scottish storm.

“She heard screaming and ran to the beach,” Finnie explained. “The fishermen threw her a line. She dove into the freezing cold North Sea, grabbed the line, made it back to the beach, and wrapped the line around her waist. All 15 fishermen made it to shore. One of the fishermen wrote a poem about her entitled, “A Brave Woman.” It’s also such a fitting name for the world we’re living in right now.”

Thus, the Brave Woman ale at Little Thistle – on tap now.

Whatever the name or the reason behind it, chances are the brewer naming it has a story to tell.

“Naming beers is fun, but it’s actually really difficult because beer-related references for naming beers are all taken,” Little Thistle co-founder Dawn Finnie said. “We use a combination of fun names, names that relate to the beer style, and sometimes just the beer style, because we can’t come up with anything interesting.”

Labels and words help tell the story of the beer, though it is the liquid inside that finishes the journey.