Drink enough craft beer and eventually, something will become clear: brewers enjoy wordplay more than the average population. Some of the best beers I’ve ever had have names that encompass puns, obscure pop culture references, inside jokes and the occasional foray into rake-joke-level meta commentary. (Evil Twin’s You’re Not A Real New York Brewery Until The Neighborhood Cat Decides To Move In is a particularly memorable example of this.)
Each summer brings with it a series of blockbuster movies — and it’s not at all surprising that plenty of craft breweries have found widescreen entertainment inspiring for beer of their own. For one, this summer sees the release of Indiana Bones and the Howl of Destiny, a double dry-hopped IPA from the reliably good Kings County Brewers Collective. KCBC gets extra points for going full 1970s movie poster for the can artwork, including a cameo from the L train — which stops a block away from KCBC’s Bushwick space.
KCBC is far from the only brewery with summer blockbusters on the brain. In 2021, Charleston’s Frothy Beard Brewing Company released a quartet of Jurassic Park-inspired beers, including an IPA with the name Life Uhh… Finds A Way.
Other breweries have hearkened further back in time to classic blockbusters (and classic films, period). Oregon’s Fort George Brewery released Java the Hop, a coffee-themed IPA, to coincide with Star Wars Day, while Barrier Brewing Company has released a dark ale dubbed The Dark Night in collaboration with KCBC. And Evil Twin’s quadruple IPA has the Godfather-referencing name Don Marleone, featuring a very imposing cat on the label.
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A memorable name for a beer can go a long way in helping people remember it — and homages, parodies and puns definitely fit that bill. If that can also tell someone what’s inside — as is the case with Java the Hops or KCBC’s Live & Let Pie fruited sour — so much the better. Even if that’s not the case, a little levity can go a long way.
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