Alright. The biggest beer weekend of the year is over and another Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is has flowed through Denver, Colorado. It was bumping downtown with thousands on the streets celebrating craft brewing and watching the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. All Winners here.
The Tapped Life Crew was hitting Denver hard with stops at Falling Rock Tap House, Crooked Stave Brewing, River North Brewery, and the Granddaddy, Breckenridge Brewery. We spent Friday evening at the festival and the VIP Pairing Event tasting a couple winners (not that we knew at the time), Saturday we did most of the aforementioned brewery hopping (pun intended), sampling some really creative, well-crafted beers (and a couple less-impressive ones too). It was a fine, fine weekend with a lot of handshaking, brewer introductions and creative sleeping solutions.
The 2015 winners were announced as the Tapped Life team was sitting around a patio table at Falling Rock Tap House and as we flipped through the winners list, we began discussing beer and brewery names and naming.
Being in the brewery marketing and merchandise industry gives us an interesting insight as we work with our clients to navigate naming and branding issues including current issues including new location branding and a funny little cease & desist letter over the name of a particular brew.
Anyway…I am rambling again. We picked apart the list and through some violent and rather forceful negotiations (someone MAY have cried over spilt beer), we came up with the TappedLife.com’s Top 10 Beer Names from the 2015 GABF Winners List.
10. Kumquat Saison – Smog City Brewing, Torrance, CA
2015 GABF SILVER MEDAL – Category 5: Belgian-style Fruit Beer
As was mentioned more than once during our “discussions” – “How can you possibly ignore anything with the word KUMQUAT? Kumquat, dude…kumquat.”
9. You’re My Boy, Blue! - Brew Bus Brewing, Tampa, FL
2015 GABF SILVER MEDAL – Category 4: Fruit Wheat Beer
It’s a Blueberry Wheat beer. This one got votes for alliteration. It’s a lot of B’s. Also, this beer is actually sort-of a bluish color and by god, in our collective opinion, that’s fuckin ballsy.
8. The Velvet Hog - TAPS Fish House & Brewery, Corona, CA
2015 GABF GOLD MEDAL – Category 10: Chocolate Beer
An Imperial porter made with Cacao Nibs, we mostly like the idea of a soft, fuzzy pig. I think some people at the table may have been having some childhood flashbacks involving a rabbit of some sort.
7. Chchchch-Cherry Bomb - Melvin Brewing, Jackson, WY
2015 GABF GOLD MEDAL - Category 3: American-Style Fruit Beer
She’s my Cherry pie…sing it! Don’t act like you didn’t have a the Cherry Pie album on cassette tape. Who misses hair bands and spandex? Ok, I guess the spandex is back.
EDIT - 10/5/15: While we were not really tying the Warrant song to the name of the beer as much as reliving our own youth, Reddit user gross_butt has informed us that this beer is actually named for Cherry Bomb by The Runaways. Thanks Reddit and of course, our favorite gross_butt.
6. Beets, Rhymes and Life - Fonta Flora Brewery, Morganton, NC
2015 GABF GOLD MEDAL – Category 7: Field Beer
Beats, Rhymes & Life by Tribe Called Quest. Beets by Fonta. We were lovin’ the hip hop vibe flowing from this one. We love a brewery that can bring some culture to the table along with those craft brews. Tribe for Life!
5. Melt My Brain - Short’s Brewing Co., Elk Rapids, MI
2015 GABF SILVER MEDAL – Category 18: Experimental Beer
Lots of song references in beer names…who knew? We all wanted to be able to enjoy this feeling each day around 5pm…oh god, please just melt my brain. Here’s to a long day work and a brain melting reward at the end. By the way, it’s a experimental American golden ale.
4. Mystery Airship Imperial Chocolate Porter - New Helvetia Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA
2015 GABF GOLD MEDAL – Category 18: Experimental Beer
Some of us envisioned alien space ships, some of our geeks though about X-Wing Fighters, one weirdo was thinking zeppelins. Anyway we like the metal imagery with this one. Kinda trips us out…kinda.
3. Concrete Dinosaur - Right Brain Brewery, Traverse City, MI
2015 GABF SILVER MEDAL - Category: 13 Rye Beer
We all really liked the concept of this name and one of our members has had an opportunity to taste this fine beverage. A nice dark brown color with strong scent of old-timey rye and hints of citrus with a solid finish…a real concrete dinosaur.
2. Batch 666: Sympathy For The Devil - Sun King Brewing Co., Indianapolis, IN
2015 GABF SILVER MEDAL - Category 26: Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer
Again with the damn song references…Rolling Stones version or Motorhead’s? We like worshipping the devil a little so this one made the list as a tribute to our bad side…ya know craft beer and Netflix.
1. Bacon and Eggs, Pizza Port Ocean Beach, San Diego, CA
2015 GABF BRONZE MEDAL – Category 11: Coffee Beer
Need we say more? It’s a beer named Bacon and Eggs, must be a breakfast beer…probably a shower beer? I’ll let you know in the morning.
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