The naming of the beers

Somewhere along the rambling way of my life, I (LKS) developed a penchant for naming things. I have given names to favorite places, childhood toys, items of furniture, cars, plants, and a large array of cats, dogs, finches, and koi. Naming is an act of respectful objectification — what was once undifferentiated is now called out from the whole, made distinct, unique, separated from other things and from nothing.

Sometimes I have to name things just to keep them all straight in my mind.

For me, one of the joys of creating is finding the perfect words to describe just what it is — whatever it is — that I have created. Therefore, a batch of homebrew isn’t really completed until it has been named.

Five batches into our adventures in home brewing, it is becoming necesssary to call a beer by its name. Yesterday we bottled Up the Elwha ESB, moved Grand Festivus XII from the primary fermenter to the secondary fermenter, and brewed our next batch. This still-nameless beer is a strong Scotch ale, so I’m mulling the possibilities of names with a connection that is both local and faraway. There is an area up in the mountains that I have not yet seen but CFL tells me I will love (it’s on the hiking list for next summer) called Heather Park. I’m liking that connection and it may be the name I’m looking for… but choosing the name is so final and it needs to be just right.

When we’d finished brewing yesterday, we both sat down with a homebrew. CFL enjoyed one of our last few Call 911 Amber Ales (batch 1) and I luxuriated with an Angeles Porter (batch 2).

After three straight brewing weekends in a row, I’m ready to go to an every-other-week schedule — or start recruiting a lot of friends to share our beer with! Next weekend we’re bottling Grand Festivus XII, and racking the Scotch ale to secondary. The week after next we’ll be ready to brew another batch… just as we’re settling down to enjoy our first bottles of Up the Elwha ESB.

Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions for what to name a strong Scotch ale, I’d love to hear them. Cheers!

4 responses to “The naming of the beers

  1. I was thinking of something with either heather or thistle in the name. Up on Mt. Charleston earlier this week, some of the mountainsides are very ‘heathery’ in coloration. Then also remembered that one of the guys in my favorite celtic group (wicked tinkers) has a production company called Thistlepricks Productions, which made me smile.

    • Colleen,
      Thistlepricks Productions is a great name for a company! It doesn’t have the local place name connection I’d like, but we do have some awesome thistles around here, so it will definitely set the mental gears to turning. Thanks!!

  2. I still smile at your “Festivus” brew. I would choose that one just for the name. I understand the need for a good name, so it will be good to see what you come up with! My grandmother was Scotch and very partial to Heather…so something with that name would be my frontrunner! What an amazing endeavor. Does your home smell like a brewery? Not that it would be a bad thing, of course! :-)

    • Debra, I’m glad you like the name “Grand Festivus XII.” I wish I could offer you one to drink when they are ready — it will be a joyous occasion indeed!
      My home only smells like a brewery on brew day. And I do think that it’s a good thing. :-)

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