From Dead Hippie Brewing on Santa Fe Drive to Broomfield’s 4 Noses Brewing Company, the Denver area has its fair share of breweries with offbeat names. But it is at the annual Great American Beer Festival, where hundreds of breweries come together to serve beer under one roof, that the sheer variety of moniker weirdness that exists across the brewing landscape truly becomes apparent.
Here is a look at some of the most unique and, uh, colorful brewery names drinkers will come across at this year’s festival, including several that are sure to leave them by turns befuddled and amused.
The roots of the quirky name of this Florida brewery can be traced to Venezuela, where Tripping Animals’ founders once ran a different brewery that printed pictures of animals on the labels of its beer. When that group of brewers opened Tripping Animals after relocating to Florida, they decided to continue to use an animal theme but added the word “tripping.” But the name didn't initially mean what many thought. Instead, co-owner Iker Elorriaga says “tripping” is a slang term in Venezuela that means “having fun.” However, the owners have since embraced the term’s drug connotation by creating colorful beer labels that depict animals in the midst of psychedelic experiences.
The name of this Topeka, Kansas-based brewery is a nod to prohibition, when establishments would display stuffed or glass tigers to alert potential patrons to the availability of alcohol inside. A tiger was chosen because a raging party was also referred to as a “tiger” in Southern slang. These tigers were said to be “blind” because their purpose was unknown to authorities.
According to this North Carolina brewery’s website, founder Matt Glidden chose its colorful name after taking many trips to beer festivals. Finding that it was always difficult to remember the names of the many beers and breweries that he had enjoyed tasting once the day was over, Glidden wanted to give his brewery a name that would be impossible to forget. The vulgar phrase “ass clown,” which refers to a foolish or contemptible person and was frequently spoken by one of Glidden’s friends, fit the bill.
With beers called “It’s Britney Bitch” (a hoppy house ale) and “I Was Today Years Old” (a hazy pale ale), this Philadelphia-based brewery attempts to live up to its motto: “Very silly names for very serious beers.”
This San Diego brewery’s moniker has long been a source of controversy and consternation. In 2013, several commenters answered with “Belching Beaver” when Eater San Diego asked its readers to identify that city’s worst restaurant name. Meanwhile, the San Diego Reader reported in 2017 that many San Diego beer drinkers interpret the brewery’s name to be a euphemism for vaginal flatulence. However, brewery co-founder and CEO Tom Vogel vehemently denies that claim and insists Belching Beaver is “just a funny name.”