How 15 Breweries Got Their Names

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As these brewers have learned, a great name can make marketing a great beer that much easier. Crack open your favorite ale or lager and learn about how some of the American brewing scene’s heavyweights got their names.

1. Founders 

One of Michigan’s most beloved breweries, Founders was originally called "Canal Street Brewing Company" when it opened in 1996. The brewery was named after an area in Grand Rapids where many breweries were located in the 19th century, and since Canal Street’s labels featured images of these breweries’ founders, the upstart was soon nicknamed "Founders."

2. New Belgium 

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The brewery, located in Fort Collins, Colorado is well known for its flagship beer, Fat Tire. The story behind that beer’s name is intertwined with the naming of the brewery itself. In 1989, co-founder Jeff Lebesch was biking around Belgium, sampling the local brews. He returned home with an idea to open a brewery, and to pay homage to the European nation that inspired him, he named it New Belgium

3. Sierra Nevada 

Founded in 1979, Sierra Nevada is the second best-selling craft brewery in the U.S., behind only the Boston Beer Company. Its name came from founder Ken Grossman’s favorite outdoor playground: the Sierra Nevada mountain range. 

4. Dogfish Head 

Founded in 1995 by brewer Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head is famous for their inventive beers and wide range of IPAs. Calagione's dad suggested the name—which comes from a street in Southport, Maine called Dogfish Head Roadas they jogged past the street sign near the family's summer home.

5. Lagunitas

Founded in 1993 by Tony Magee, Lagunitas is famous for its hop-centric, west coast IPAs. Although it is located in Petaluma, Calif., the brewery is named after its original home base of Lagunitas, Calif. Since the company already had a following when it moved, it stuck with the original geographic moniker. 

6. Goose Island 

Based in Chicago, Goose Island started by brewing out of the Clybourn Brewpub back in 1988. The brewery is named for nearby Goose Island, an artificial island in the middle of the Chicago River.

7. Avery 

The well-respected brewery in Boulder, Colo. has been crafting high-quality libations since 1993. The brewery was named after founder and avid home brewer Adam Avery

8. Deschutes 

Founded in 1988 in Bend, Oreg., Deschutes is widely known for its inventive offerings such as Black Butte Porter, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Inversion IPA. When Gary Fish founded the brewpub that would eventually become the brewery, he named it in honor of the nearby Deschutes River. 

9. Flying Dog 

The Frederick, Md. brewery was originally located in the beer mecca of Colorado and was named after a 1983 mountain climbing expedition in which founder George Stranahan and friends climbed K2 (the second-highest summit in the world). After the climb, the pals were enjoying a drink at a bar in Pakistan when they noticed a painting of a pack of dogs that appeared to be flying. Stranahan named the brewery to pay tribute to that expedition and to his relationship with his fellow climbers.

10. Abita 

Famous for their Purple Haze that is brewed with real raspberries, Abita is a brewery that sits 30 miles north of New Orleans. The brewery gets its name from the town of Abita Springs, which was originally a Choctaw Indian village. The etymology of the word "Abita," however, is unclear.

11. Ommegang 

The brewery has been crafting authentic Belgian-style beer since beer importers Wendy Littlefield and Don Feinberg opened its doors in 1997. This brewery, located a few miles south of Cooperstown, N.Y. gets its name from the Dutch. "Ommegang" means "walk around" or "to walk." An annual festival of the same name in Brussels has been commemorating the first visit of Emperor Charles V to the city since 1549. 

12. Boulevard 

Located in Kansas City, Mo., Boulevard was founded in 1988 by John McDonald, who invested his entire savings and inheritance into starting the brand. The name comes from the area where the brewery is located, along Kansas City’s Southwest Boulevard.

13. Shiner 

Shiner is the brand name for the beer produced at the Spoetzl Brewery. Famous for their Shiner Bock, the brewery is owned by the Gambrinus family and is the oldest independent brewery in Texas (founded in 1909). It got its name simply because the brewery is located in Shiner, Texas. 

14. Smuttynose 

This Portsmouth, N.H. brewery was founded in 1994 and takes its name from Smuttynose Island, one of the Isle of Shoals that sit between coastal New Hampshire and Maine.  

15. 21st Amendment 

Bob, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Shaun O’Sullivan and Nico Freccia named their San Francisco-based brewery 21st Amendment in a nod to the constitutional amendment that repealed prohibition and kick-started the local bars' slow climb back to being the neighborhood gathering place.

Alexa Can Now Help You Find a Wine Pairing

Even if you enjoy wine regularly, you may not know exactly how you’re supposed to pair it with food. But you don’t have to be a sommelier to put together a good pairing at home. According to Lifehacker, you can just ask Alexa.

An Alexa skill called Wine Finder is designed to help you figure out which wine varietal would go best with whatever food you’re planning to eat. You just have to ask, “What wine goes well with … ”

Created by an app developer called Bloop Entertainment, the Amazon Echo skill features a database with 500 wine pairings. And not all of them are designed for someone working their way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The skill will also help you find the proper pairing for your more casual snacks. In one demo, the skill recommends pairing nachos with a Sauvignon blanc or Zinfandel. (Note that the latter also goes well with Frito pie.)

You can also ask it to find you the perfect wine to drink with apple pie and pizza, in addition to the meats, cheeses, and other wine-pairing staples you might expect. However, if you ask it what to pair with hot dogs, it says “water,” which is an affront to hot dog connoisseurs everywhere.

There are a few other wine-pairing skills available for Alexa, including Wine Pairings, Wine Pairings (two different skills), and Wine Expert. But according to user reviews, Wine Finder is the standout, offering more and higher-quality suggestions than some of the other sommelier apps.

It’s free to enable here, so drink up.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Richard Brendon
This $56 Glass Is Perfectly Suited to All Styles of Wine
Richard Brendon
Richard Brendon

People who take their wine seriously tend to own different glasses for different types of wine. Decor website Home Stratosphere, for instance, identified 18 wine glasses—each shaped differently to complement the unique flavors and fragrances of a Bordeaux, a Burgundy, and other kinds of red, white, and dessert wines.

If you don’t want to spare the expense or the cupboard space for all those glasses, you may want to check out Richard Brendon’s $56 wine glass, which is said to be suited to all types of wine. As spotted by Fast Company, the “1 Wine Glass” is the result of a collaboration between Brendon, a London-based product designer, and wine critic Jancis Robinson.

Robinson said that when Brendon asked her to help design a range of wine glasses, she was “insistent” that they design one single glass. “I love white wine as much as red and have never understood why white wine glasses are routinely smaller than those designed for red wine,” Robinson said in a statement, adding that white wines can be just as complex as reds. “It just seems so obvious and sensible to have one single wine glass for all three colors of wine—especially when so many of us are short of storage space.”

To get it just right, they toiled with the thinness of the glass, the length of the stem, the curvature, the opening, and the overall practicality (Robinson said it had to be dishwasher safe, and indeed, the finished result is). The result is a 125ml handcrafted glass that can be used for all types of wine, including champagne, port, and sherry. The duo also designed a stemless water glass and two decanters. The items can be purchased on Richard Brendon's website.

[h/t Fast Company]


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