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How To Name Your Brewery

Michael Donato, June 24, 2015 -   

Naming a brewery isn’t an easy task. It’s a name that’s going to stick with you forever, and will play a vital role in how you’re perceived. Despite the warnings, people DO judge a book by the cover, beers by the label and breweries by their name. Depending on what you pick it could also lock you into a beer-name theme. If you’re named Spider Bite Brewing, can you really get away with not naming most of your beers after spiders? Beer is often intensely local and if you're Great Lakes, or Lakefront, or Port, there’s a certain expectation about your beers, and their names, that reflect that geographic or topographic location. 

Are you a brewery or a beer company? Do you want to use buzzwords like artisan, craft, or barrel in your name? Perhaps you’d like to pick something offbeat like liquids or potions to describe your product, or maybe you’ll stick ale or lager in there. What can we infer by judging your book by it’s cover? What does your brewery name say about you?

To start with you should know that the total collection of millions of beer check-ins with ratings in our database dating back to the start of the site have a 3.66 average rating with a 2.56 BAR and a 102.02 Style+.

Most breweries use the word brewery, or brewing company; nearly two thirds. The ratings reflect this, as all beers under these breweries have a 3.72 rating with an average BAR of 2.82. Much fewer use the word beer in the name of the brewery, with a 3.63 rating with a 2.41 average BAR. 

The name representing the most quality that I found was those with the word Liquid. This is almost entirely due to the amazing beers brewed by Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Vermont. Liquid breweries represent merely a half percent of all breweries.

Name

Rating

BAR

Style+

% of beers

Beer Company

3.63

2.45

102.1

3.57

Brewery/Brewing

3.72

2.82

102.61

62.77

Liquid

4.27

7.21

111.85

0.05

Beerworks

3.71

1.65

101.79

0.24

Ale

3.7

1.9

101.31

3.21

Beer

3.68

2.61

102.22

6.52

Artisan

3.91

3

103.05

0.51

Not Beer

3.66

2.56

102.01

93.48

Craft

3.86

3.71

103.9

2.24

Barrel

3.78

2.46

103.41

0.13

Not beer/brewery/brewing

3.52

2.03

100.8

31.04

Even though not mentioning beer or brewing in your breweries name generally means the beers will be subpar, there are a few notable cases where adding adjectives suggests an increase in quality. Adding in artisan, craft, or barrel gives a small boost to ratings, BAR and Style+. The not beer or brewery caveat probably unfairly classifies foreign breweries, but the database is very America-centric and the biggest brewery in the list is actually Anheuser-Busch. That’s largely responsible for the ratings drop here as the next few, Guinness, BrewDog, and Rogue Ales are adding value. You do have others dragging it down a little, like Grupo Modelo, Heineken, and Carlsberg. Clown Shoes has a poor average BAR and Mikkeller isn’t very high either. 

This isn’t perfect science as some beers are entered into the database a little weirdly sometimes, but there is some evidence that the name of your brewery can lead to better ratings. These words may seem like buzzwords with little meaning, but the group of breweries that select them tend to make above average beer. 

Michael can be found on Twitter and Untappd. His homebrew is listed under MAD Brewery. What would you call your brewery?

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