Sorting out some old Tee Shirts ..it’s a bit like the sock drawer exercise… I came across an old Leicester Beer Festival shirt from 2011 which was ‘celebrating’ the introduction of decimal currency with a made up ‘slate’ of beers and prices from 1971, and YES I do remember! Whilst the prices were of interest, it was the NAMES of the beers that immediately struck
- Ansells Mild ……….1/11d
- Ruddles Bitter…. 2/1d
- Home Ales Bitter … 2/-
- Shipstones Mild… 1/ 9 ½d
I then delved into a pile of old Beer Festival Guides (this one from Peterborough 2017) to find the following
- Horncastle’s ‘Total Chaos’
- Kennet & Avon ‘Wilcot Wide’
- Roosters ‘Roots, Rock, Reggae’
- Three Blind Mice ‘Four Go Wild in the Fens’
- Bexar County ‘Bitter invention of Satan’
This was a random sample, and only in one did I find any mention of beer style! Now then , is this a good or bad thing? There have been well documented examples of offensive beer names, even in the House of Commons bar, and un- pronounceable Welsh beers (well…to us English). I am not making a point of beer quality in my examples which I’m sure was sound.
Now of course there are examples of plain naming, but I suppose you can argue that a plain name equals a boring un- inventive beer. Is that so? What’s wrong with a straight forward Casewell’s Bitter? Does beer have to have hops from Patagonia, yeast from Ursa Minor, and Barley (organic of course) from the dark side of the moon for it to be interesting? I merely raise the question and raise a glass of Stoneyford’s ‘ Sheepmarket Supernova’ to you all…and very good it is too.
Send your response to our Chair!
PS Leicester Beer Festival is on 7th to 10th March for more info see our Events page.