Let me begin by saying there are not many things I love in this world more than beer and irreverent humor. My iPhone has actually given up trying to auto-correct my words to “duck” and “shut,” which is quite the milestone. But we need to talk about an apparently popular trend among the craft-brewing industry: giving great beer ridiculous names.
I get it, beer is for adults; therefore adult-themed names should be acceptable. But isn’t anyone else a little embarrassed to ask their dad for a “Slutty Blonde” at a family barbecue? Or order a “Raging Bitch” at a lunch meeting? Surely I can’t be the only one slightly perturbed by watching my sweet mother order a “Pound Town” at a family dinner. Why is this necessary?
Craft brewing has experienced a significant uptrend in demand and volume over the past few years. In order to stay competitive, microbreweries have looked to using innuendo and vulgarities in their beer names as a branding strategy. Shock value = name recognition. However, any impact this has is neutralized when everyone is doing it. And believe me – everyone is doing it. Constantly attempting to outdo each other, breweries looking to be unique are simply drowning in the noise, leaving us with nothing but shitty names for otherwise good beer.
Sure, for years we have put up with obnoxious drink names without much of a fight: “Sex on the Beach,” “Blow Job,” “Red-Headed Slut,” and “Dirty Girl Scout,” just to name a few. But how often do you see anyone ordering one of these outside of a 21st birthday or bachelor/ette party? Ordering a beer shouldn’t group us in with this nonsense. I don’t need to be yelling “Slick Beaver” over the aggressive Vance Joy house remix to the bartender. He doesn’t deserve that.
I don’t mean to sound like a wet blanket. Like I said, I love crass humor and saying bad words. Just let me say them on my own terms. If the situation doesn’t call for use of the word “bitch,” I don’t want to say it. I take every opportunity to use the phrase “pound town,” which is why I would like to keep it in my own vocabulary and off of beer lists. Furthermore, I don’t want a first date to see how comfortable I am saying “Tickle my Zwickel” within the first 5 minutes of meeting. Don’t take my dignity; let me lose that shit on my own.
Microbreweries, I love what you’re doing. Keep it up with the great beer. You can even keep your chalkboard signs, Edison-era light fixtures, and long ass benches that no one is sure can fit two parties. I won’t even complain that your beer is twice the price of any domestic at my local convenience store. All I ask is that we dial it back just a little in the naming of your product.
Because if not, I hear there are plenty of 21st birthday girls and bachelor/ette parties who love drinks with ridiculous names. Just saying. .
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