Some of the beers we make in the pub are experimental and only intended for sale at the Old Nation bar rail. Usually they are “one offs” We often make them to test out a concept, get our customers ready for different styles which are more challenging or just as a favor to a friend or special guest. These beers are the fun ones to name, and you can see the back-stories to a few of them below. If you notice a trend, try not to read too much into it…
Usually, we’ll pull whatever word or phrase we thought was funny or interesting that day out of our back pocket and, sadly, we quite often settle into work routines that expose us to the same radio stations, podcasts and news sites most days. Our tastes and interests vary pretty widely, but we can’t all be The World’s Most Interesting Man. Brewmaster Nate can, but only on Tuesdays, Saturday if weather permits. For the rest of us, it’s a crapshoot.
Read on for some development notes and explanations of our “pub beer” names:
Flat Brain IPA: This is one we made to try a new Malt that we became aware of through a friend in Berlin, Germany. The name comes from an interview with a German film director named Werner Herzog. Herzog is a classic German nihilist (think of a mix of eeyore and colonel Klink, and you’ve got the rough idea). We think that his rants and philosophies are hilarious, even when he doesn’t mean them to be, which is most of the time. He does have a great sense of humor, and may be joking all the time… We can’t tell.
We took the name Flat Brain from an interview with him where he talks about his fear and loathing of chickens, which he describes as having “enormous stupidity” and “Flat brains”.
Cake Boss! Chocolate Oat Cookie ale: We made this beer for a friend’s wedding, and didn’t think it would go over well in the pub. We were very wrong about that. We will not ever again name a beer after a TV show, but we love Paul F. Tomkins’ “impersonation” of the titular Cake Boss so much we couldn’t resist. Looks like you may see this beer under a pseudonym in a bar near you!
Here’s a clip of PFT’s satire of the Boss of those cakes! Please forgive the crude language at around the one minute mark (it takes a while to get to the punchline):
Rykshaw IPA: This is an easy one. Nate Rykse is our brewmaster, and that’s his old nickname. He doesn’t like it all that much anymore, so we had to name it that. We think it sounds cool. So there, Nate.
Scott Brown Ale: We worked with Laux Construction a lot in our build-out (they’re fantastic, and we highly recommend them for home or commercial construction). The foreman we worked with on the job is named Scott Brown. He is the best, so naming this beer after him was a no-brainer. We still don’t know if he even likes brown ale, but, come on..
Hefeweizen: The name of the beer is the name of the style. We decided not to over think it. In German, Hefe means yeast and Weizen means wheat. So this is a cloudy beer brewed with a lot of wheat, but the real magic comes from the yeast. It gives the beer a clove and banana character that can’t be beat.
5 Acre Cream Ale: Lighter styles with lower levels of alcohol are often referred to as “lawnmower” beers. This comes from the idea that hot days require a lighter, more refreshing beer. Genesee Brewing Co.’s cream ale is probably the most popular version of the style, but it can be argued that Rolling Rock is a cream ale as well. For us, it’s a light ale made with Pilsener malt and flaked corn, balanced by Michigan hops. Travis, one of our two owners, lives on 5 acres (even though he only mows 3.5). Cat’s out of the bag now, Travis. Step up your mowing game.
Let us know if there are any other names you’d like to know about, and thanks for taking the time to read our blog.