Remember Big Pun? Dude was a robust rapper whose biggest hit was about banging chicks. This was a simpler time back in 1998 when fat guys could get famous by talking about how much tail they got and nobody would question them. Anyway, in my half-assed attempt to try to segue into the actual article, I’d like to point out that I bet Big Pun could take down a few pints of beers without it even phasing him. Like the rapper himself, there are some pretty big puns in the beer world. This little article is going to explore (read: poke fun of) some of the most punishing puns out there. And yes, I’m going to try to cram as many puns in here as I can. Hopefully you will catch on to my rye wit. It’s the yeast I can do. (Bam, three puns right there).
Hop on the pun train
Head on over to Beeradvocate and check out their top beers for Imperial IPAs and look at some of the names. Hopslam, Hopsicle, Pure Hoppiness… Everyone has their own version of a hop pun, and that’s not just hop-perbole (eh..). The word “hop” is probably the easiest beer-related word that you can make puns with. Making an IPA with apricots? Boom, “Aprihop”. Releasing a hoppy red ale in the fall? Boom, “Red Hoptober”. Want to convey that the beer is so bitter that it will literally kill you? Boom, “Hopsecutioner”. The list is almost never ending, and frankly it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Homebrewers are getting in on the action as well; Brent Osborn from Osborn Brewing recently posted a label for a beer called Hopstitute. That’s a hop prostitute in case you didn’t catch it.
Fermentationalism Sensationalism: Breweries grounded in puns
Patrick Rue started a brewery and called it The Bruery. Get it? Of course you do. But they don’t just stop at their name, they like to come up with all kinds of puns. “Rueuze” is their version of a gueuze. “Tart of Darkness” is their sour black ale. “Chocosaurus Rye” is their chocolate rye beer. “Loakal Red” is their red ale that is aged in oak and is only available to the locals near the brewery (how’s that for specific?). The list goes on and on. At least they aren’t rued about it. Another brewery located in Louisville called Against the Grain has an affinity for making beers that pack a PUNch: Judas Yeast, Tickle Me Ale-mo, Raucho Man Randy Beverage, My Hammy Weiss, Quiet RYE-it… I could seriously name any of their beers right now. Just look at all their beers and you’ll see what I mean. There are more breweries who have notoriously punbelievable beer names: Dogfish Head, Cigar City, Three Floyds, Oskar Blues, Surly, Great Lakes, and… well, pretty much every other brewery out there.
I have a theory about why puns are so rampant in the beer world. You see, the truth about beer people is that they are all kind of dorks. I’m very much putting myself into this category. Being dorks, we like to make dorky jokes, and what’s dorkier than a good pun? Beer geeks like to come up with clever little puns to make their beer geek friends chuckle. I can speak from firsthand experience; I have made beers that only came about because I thought of a stupid name first. For example, I thought it would be funny to name a beer “Brett Michaels” and ferment it with Brettanomyces, so my next batch is going to be a beer with Brettanomyces. The name came before the beer. So now when people come over, they get to taste Brett Michaels. It’s stupid and dorky, but that’s who we are.
Just like bananas, these puns are appealing
I couldn’t be bothered to actually spend time researching this train wreck of an article, so I recently asked some of the local beer geeks what some of their favorite beer puns were. Here’s a few of the best:
Java the Hop
Cure what ales you
Imperial stout trooper
Hell Or High Watermelon
Just the TIPA (one of my personal favorites)
Men in Bock
Mama’s Little Yella Pils
For Those About to Bock
There Will Be Black (I DRINK IT UP)
Stop, Hop and Roll
Yippie Rye Aye
Citra Ass Down!
You Will Fail Ale
Goser the Gosarian
Me, My Spelt, and Rye
Wet Hop American Summer
These are all real names for beer. Seriously, google them. Want some more beer pun fun? Check out Bad Beer Puns on Twitter. I got a chuckle from “Lambic Pentameter”.
What’s your favorite beer pun? Hop on over to the comments section and let me know. Or don’t, I don’t care.