|Strange Brew -
Or Watt’s In A Name?
Bruce "Dr. of Beer" Davis
|The DOCTOR is in.
BeerNexus is proud to
present the acclaimed beer
savant "Strange Bru""
a.k.a. "Dr. of Beer"
Bruce is an award winning
writer, beer PhD, and
Craft brewers are getting more and more inventive and
imaginative with naming of their new products. Every time I
venture in to another outlet and peruse the shelves, I find
another hit, at least name-wise. I often wonder, what were
they thinking? But then I remember, they were probably
drinking their own products before, during and after the
We’re all familiar with Arrogant Bastard from Stone, which
my wife swears was named after me. Raging Bitch from
Dogfish Head is another relative oldie but goodie,
apparently named in response to to my wife’s comments!
But lately, brewers are getting more and more creative and
daring. Take for instance the offering from Woodland
Empire. It is a classic lambic style named after a place we’ve
all been at one time or another, Upschitt Kriek! Then there
was the recent collaboration between Bolero Snort and
Icarus, a New England style IPA with a touch of blueberry
which according to Former Press Secretary Scaramucci
must have been Steve Bannon’s favorite beer, appropriately
enough called I Just Blue Myself! There’s the American IPA out of Pearl Street that’s
straight out of the rap videos and likely dedicated to Jennifer Lopez called Rumpshaker
IPA, which would never be found anywhere near Stickman Brews’ Fat Guy In Suspenders,
but might be paired with Tequesta’s Notorious B.I.G.! Hey, you never know?
I’m not sure you could get me to even try something called Goat Boy, from Southern Tier,
although I love their other beers. Something about that name just weirds me out! Speaking
of weirded out, what’s with Splish, from Grimm Artisanal Ales, or Climbing Through
Windows, from More Brewing. And what the hell are Snoochie Boochies? Don’t know? Me
either! Ask the folks at Forbidden Root Restaurant and Brewery, they make it!
I’ve personally had several pints of Whistling Pig from Jasper Murdock’s in Norwich,
Vermont, though I’ve never met a whistling pig. [Insert your own inappropriate joke here!]
Talk about needing beer goggles! Maybe they had Oskar Blues Fugli in mind when they
came up with that one. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a Hopadillo (Karbach Brewing)
either, but I haven’t been to Texas yet. For the ladies, there’s always a Stud-Finder (Iron
Duke) if you need one! Those beer goggles may or may not help with Fuzzy, from Side
Project Brewing. I guess they weren’t real sure what to label it. Nor was Tree House clear
about their marketing strategy when they put out their Very Hazy Imperial IPA.
Who killed the coconuts and were they aptly punished is the question I want answered! I
guess we’ll have to ask the folks at Drekker, who make the American IPA called Coconut
Killer. I would definitely ask because nothing can be Taken For Granite (Magic Hat)
Many a times I could have used some Mettle (Trillium) to test my own mettle. Where beer is
concerned, I’m sometimes found lacking. Snake River’s Eclipse Ale would have been
perfect on August 21st, 2017. Or Unwind Your Mind on any of the Woodstock
anniversaries! (And a completely separate shout-out for the totally awesome literary
reference and brewery name of that same beer, Hop Butcher For The World! Major props
from this English teacher!) I’d guess you’ll find no Lexical Gap (Pollyanna) there!
Now I’ve heard of hair of the dog, in fact I’ve experienced it once or twice myself, but
Hammer of the Beast? Clown Shoes must think it would help…something! Cigar City stays
a bit non-committal with their Life Is Like…, which lets you decide for yourself. Forest
Gump would have had an answer!
Ever met a Level Headed Blonde (Huske Hardware House)? Me neither. You might need
the beer goggles again. But if you do, be careful or you may be called Fresh (Civil Society)
or end up with a Love Child #8 (Boulevard), neither of which would be good, situations not
the beers. Use the sweet sounds of a little Haulin’ Oats Stout (Redhook) to win her over!
And I’ll let you choose among being a Panty Peeler (Midnight Sun), a Leg Humper (Thirsty
Dog), or a Polygamy Porter (Wasatch), any of which might result in a case of Alimony Ale
You can apparently drive All Day IPA (Founders) from Exit One (Flying Fish) to Exit 63
(Full Sail) along with your Fast Friends (Root Down Brewing) past Keith’s Korner
(Perennial Artisanal Ales) and still never run into Shooter McGavin (Barrel Theory) or
Rose Gose (Bent Brewstillery). Just don’t do so after a few or you may get stopped by the
Voodoo Ranger (New Belgium) and be charged with Substance Abuse (Terrapin),
especially if you’ve had a Smells Like Weed (Dark Horse) or two!
On another note, I really want to meet all these people who have beers named after them.
Who are these people? I assume that we all know Anna, Clara, Dorothy, Earl, Peleg and
others (Hill Farmstead) are ancestors of the brewer, but does anyone know who Julius
(Tree House) or Matt (Hair of the Dog)are? Is Mr. Kite (Ocelot) named for the Beatles
song, or somebody else? And which wood is Adam From The Wood (Hair of the Dog) from
But when I face that ultimate reckoning and they ask me what I’ll have for the final “last
call,” Rapture (Weyerbacher) or Wooden Hell (Flossmoor Station), I’ll just answer Maybe
Both? (Kent Falls). Who knows, maybe I’ll get all three?
That’s all for now from this Blithering Idiot (Weyerbacher)!
|How about another shot of Strange Bru?
The Doctor of Beer is still in......
Corn! Mention that word to any serious craft beer drinker and you’re likely to get a smirk and
rolling of the eyes, at very least, and a smug retort of “Sorry, we don’t serve PBR here!” by
others. Both justifiable answers as corn is the grain of choice for many of the top selling,
tasteless, “beers” sold in America. Look at the can, read the ingredients on a Bud or Coors or,
god forbid, a Corona and you’ll see it prominently displayed. Corn!
Not so with good craft beers. Hops, malt, yeast, water, an occasional spice or flavoring
compound, real grains such as wheat, barley, and rye are all the label will show, proudly. Corn
would simply never be found in the presence of good craft beers, or their drinkers. Unless of
course you are from the Central Jersey area and happen to know one famous, if not infamous,
beer connoisseur, writer par excellence, and website host. If you are not already familiar with
this gentleman, and we use the term advisedly, stop by The Tap Room some Friday afternoon
or the Gaslight any Saturday and watch as the King of Corn holds court.
Beer drinker #1: What’s wrong? You seem to be a bit stiff!
Beer drinker #2: I have a weak back!
Beer drinker #1 When did that happen?
Beer drinker #1: About a week back!
Drum roll and rim shot, maestro! This classic and many others can often, some say too often,
be heard at various craft beer establishments around the area. But this elfin Father of the
Corn, nattily dressed in a well-worn baseball cap with a beer logo, seldom works alone. He has
an entire retinue of straight men and trained bar staff to supply his never ending setups and
punch lines for unwitting and unsuspecting saps, I mean listeners.
For many years, it was the affable and jolly Artie. The duo could always be counted on for at
least five or six of the world’s corniest and stale jokes. Our celebrity Abbott would even share
the punch line with his Costello on occasion. If corn was their middle name, cliché was their
surname. Alas, the good Sir Artie has moved on to bigger and better things, manning the grille
and brewing his own versions of craft beers down at the North Side Grill in Manville. Not that he’
s beyond serving up a nice side dish of “corn” with his beers and delicious fare. He is, after all,
Beer drinker #1: A horse walks into a bar.
Bartender: Why the long face?
Barump bump! But back at our man’s favorite spot, Artie’s protégées have stepped up to fill
the gap. After all, every village (tavern) needs an idiot and the Corn Meister is more than
willing to fill the bill. At the Tap Room most Fridays, Artie’s place will be often most ably filled by
one or two of His Mockery’s minions, The Doctor (PhD from Cloverleaf!) or Two Beer John (an
inaccurate moniker if ever there was one!). Either or both are willing and able to supply the
occasional set up line. In fact, they have even been known to supply Obi-Wan Kenobi with new
material, searching and researching the InterWeb for new jokes. One, The Doctor, even claims
to tell the jokes better than the Master, if that can be believed. Trust me, they are so corny it
doesn’t matter who tells them! Nobody but the tellers laugh anyway!
Beer drinker #1: Have you heard about the new birth control device for men?
Beer drinker #2: No, how does it work?
Beer drinker #3: You put a stone in your shoe. It makes you limp!
But the jokes continue. He is irrepressible. This writer has been in the Great One’s presence in
other establishments and his catalog of corn comes out wherever he goes. He is the Johnny
Appleseed of mirth, The Pied Piper of merriment. Everyone and anyone who has met the man
knows his rep. In fact, if you look elsewhere on this very site, you’ll find examples of his wit and
wisdom, on subjects ranging from electronic beer menus to beer festivals. He is the master.
The King of Comedy. The Great Lost American Vaudevillian! His repertoire is limitless. His
jokes are hilarious. As long as you, like Artie, are a vegetarian and haven’t yet had your fill of
Beer drinker #1: See those two old guys across the bar! That’ll be us in ten years!
Beer drinker #2: That’s a mirror, you idiot!
As stated above, you too can catch his act, free of charge, many late afternoons at a good
craft beer joint of some renown. He’s been known to frequent The Hat (Summit), the Cloverleaf
Tavern (Caldwell), The Gaslight (South Orange), The Shepherd and The Knucklehead
(Haledon), and several others. Buy him a beer. Prod him into telling you a joke (It won’t take
much!). You’ll regret neither.
Just whatever you do, do not ever ask him if he likes pussycats!