The Great Taste of the Midwest's most ludicrous beer names, 2016 edition
Craft beer is growing up so fast, but still can't use its words.
Get your pretzel necklaces ready, folks, because it’s almost Great Taste of the Midwest weekend in Madison. This year marks the 30th anniversary for the beer-nerd mecca which is, sincerely, one of the most enjoyable and best-run events of its kind anywhere in the nation. This year the organizers are expecting more than 1,000 beers will be flowing from more than 150 breweries. As it turns out, some of those brewers might have been getting high on their own supply when they got around to naming some of their potent potables. Here, for the third year in a row, is our ribbing of a handful of questionably branded concoctions that either stretched their single entendres woefully too far for our comfort or require links to Urban Dictionary entries to make sense. Alright, let’s get in there and roast some malts!
Bean Flicker (Odd Sides Ales, Grand Haven, Michigan)
Gotta say, this Coffee Blonde Ale from Odd Sides definitely sounds pretty tasty and it apparently aims to combine my three favorite C's of beer: coffee, chocolate, and clitoral stimulation.
Black Note Stout (Bell's Brewery, Kalamazoo, Michigan)
The only note / color combo I’m aware of is a Brown Note, which Louisville's Against The Grain Brewery already snagged for themselves (“Caution: so good it WILL make you shit yourself!!!!”) and brought to last year’s Great Taste, but here comes the venerable Bell’s trying to play with that same involuntary-reaction imagery but instead of shit they’re gonna make you expel... bile?!
Cameltoe (Piece Brewing, Chicago, IL)
Why call your beer Cameltoe[? Because Moose Knuckle only sounds slightly less drinkable!
Chocolate Malty Balls (Tighthead Brewing Co., Mundelein, Illinois)
Hate to break it to you guys, but if the South Park song “Chocolate Salty Balls” was a living breathing person it would be old enough to vote in the election, and it would probably be voting for Trump.
Easy-Peasy Japanesey (Griffin Claw Brewing, Birmingham, Michigan)
I’m as big a fan of The Shawshank Redemption as the next guy, but going with this as the name of a beer in 2016, even if it is made with Sorachi Ace hops and green tea, makes you look like a bunch of Alexandree Dumb-asses.
Forbidden Fuzz (4 Hands Brewing Co., St. Louis)
All right, all right, all right... McConaissance aside, you guys know that Wooderson was a tragic character in Dazed & Confused, right? His line “That's what I love about these high school girls... I get older, they stay the same age” isn’t how anyone should live their life, much less look to for inspiration in naming their peach flavored beers.
MILF (Mother's Brewing, Springfield, Missouri)
The name thankfully loses a little bit of its knee-jerk offensiveness once it clicks that this Russian imperial stout from Mother’s Brewing Co. (GET IT?!), but even then it still brings to mind the act of literally dunking your respective reproductive bits in a glass of their product which is far from a good look, imho.
Nut Smasher (Willoughby Brewing, Willoughby, Ohio)
LOL! I hope you brought your protective cup, fellas! Hopefully no one will confuse this Russian Imperial Stout from Willoughby Brewing that sports a flavor profile built around coffee, peanut butter, and chocolate with Sun King Brewing’s slightly less violent sounding Patio Smasher wild ale. All around, we could afford to take this one down a notch. The only things I wanna see get smashed when I’m drinking are braincells, amirite guys?!
Pussy Punch (Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City, Michigan)
Ah yes, the raspberry rhubarb IPA that so desperately wants to make you think about fisting[http://i.imgur.com/JcDsXEU.jpg].
Strawberry Bitch (Wisconsin Dells Brewing Co.)
The only way these two words should ever end up next to each other is if it’s the answer to the question “What’s your favorite jam?” and even then only if you’re eating biscuits with Jesse Pinkman, which you’re not.
Some of these are well-meaning enough (I’m looking at you, Black Note), and others are maybe me just having a dirty mind (guilty as charged, Forbidden Fuzz), but when there’s already a robust conversation going on out there about sexism in the world of craft beer, why take these silly chances? This is just a bunch of unforced errors on otherwise delicious-sounding beers, for the most part. I’m sure we’ll be back here again next year for the 31st annual Great Taste to point fingers at more of these, since apparently some people just can’t help themselves.
Addendum: I made two mistakes in this list of shoddily named beers. I inexplicably forgot the existence of every record ever released by Blue Note Records—which, of course, was the connection that Bell’s was making when they named their bourbon barrel-aged stout “Black Note.” I’m gonna chalk this up to lasting mental scars inflicted by last year’s Brown Note brown ale, but let the record show that I sincerely regret lumping Bell’s in with those other schmucks. My second mistake was a sin of omission since “Double Bitch Slap,” an American amber/red ale from the appropriately named Pig Minds Brewing Co., was somehow left on the cutting room floor. Apologies all around for my egregious lapse in journalistic integrity. —CL