Showing posts with label brands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brands. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inspiration

Almost every homebrewer I know gives the beer he, or she, makes a name, and I was thinking the other day about the things that inspire the names we give our beer and brewing operations. For example, I refer to my brewing as "Green Dragon Brewing", going back to the original name after a brief flirtation with Pivovar Brewing, which is almost a tautology when translated from Czech. Brewery Brewing? Nah, sounds a bit naff really. The name Green Dragon Brewing was chosen because in the film version of Lord of the Rings, Pippin and Merri sing a song about beer, which contains the line "the only brew for the brave and true, comes from the Green Dragon".

With the beers I brew, the names often reflect the ingredients, or what I am trying to achieve in making the beer - of course it is easy to say that I am just trying to achieve making a good beer, but there are often reasons that underpin the recipe creation process. Take for example my India Black Ale that I bottled last week, called Red Coat India Black Ale. The thinking behind the the beer is that India Black Ale, or Black IPA if you must, is nothing more than porter using different hops and too many of them. Replace the Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe et al with British hops to the same IBU rating and hey presto, you have over hoppy porter. Red Coat of course refers to the soldiers of the British Empire for whom beer was shipped out to both the American colonies and India.

A beer such as my spiced Christmas amber ale, called Biere d'épices, harks back to my growing up in Germany and loving the smell, and taste of course, of the gingerbread houses my mother made at Christmas. Why use French as the name though? Well, simply because my parents now live in France and given the Belgian yeast and French hops in the beer, it sounded more apt than "Lebkuchenbier" -  though of course a quick change of yeast and hops, and Lebkuchenbier could yet be this year's Christmas libation of choice.

Tomorrow I will be bottling the Best Bitter I brewed a couple of weeks back, single hopped with First Gold and fermented with Wyeast 1968 London ESB yeast. The name is Gunnersbury Gold, gold for the hops and Gunnersbury for the park in London where my brothers and I would play when we went to visit my nan in Southall.

The one thing I haven't done of yet is get seriously creative and create labels for my bottles. There is a very simple reason for this, I have, in the words of Blackadder, all the "artistic talent of a cluster of colour blind hedgehogs in a bag". I did though create this little thing for my recent weizenporter, Black Rose.


However, Rob from OptaDesign is supremely talented and created this label for LimeLight.


What then inspires your homebrew brands and label designs?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What's in a name?

I saw the sign below at the Eggenberg Brewery in ?esky Krumlov and found it very interesting. For those of you who don't have any German it says "Budweiser from the Original Source", just as Pilsner Urquell is "Pilsner from the Original Source".

The sign goes on to state that this "Budweiser Urquell" is brewed at the Burgers' Brewery in Budweis, which is the German name for the modern city of ?eské Budějovice. The Burgers' Brewery in Budweis, according to the sign was founded in 1795, some 60 years before the Bavarian Brewing Company was founded in the US - it was this brewery that would become Anheuser-Busch. Indeed the Burger's Brewery in Budweis, which is today the Budějovicky mě??ansky Pivovar - "Town Brewery of Budweis", is 100 years older than the makers of Budvar.

By the time the Bavarian Brewing Company had been renamed in 1860 the Burger's Brewery of Budweis had been selling under the brand name "Budweiser Bier" for over half a century.

According to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet - the converse must also be true, call a beer made with rice what you will, it won't change the fact that it is dish water.

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