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What's In A Name: Matilda Bay

What's In A Name: Matilda Bay
October 10 2012 by Crafty Pint

Since deciding to delve into the world of beer names – a move inspired by The Crafty Pint’s involvement in naming our Beervana Media Brew beer and the Good Beer Week Masterclass collaboration Our Dark Secret – we’ve heard from the likes of Feral, Red Duck, Moon Dog and the Yeastie Boys, all of who have more than their fair share of beers with interesting names and most – if not all – of whom treat their beers as if they were their children.

But what of a bigger beast such as Matilda Bay, where the beers are part of a rather larger operation than any of the above? How do they come up with their names and does the way in which they matter differ from smaller breweries? Justin Megna, who works on the brand, tells us…

How important is the name of a beer?
It is very important as craft beer is one of the few beer categories where a story or stories often draw consumers to the taste and heritage of the beer… and makes them feel good about drinking it. Something catchy, quirky, esoteric, left field or weird will generate awareness and rapid word of mouth.

Usually we’ll want something to roll off the tongue and that will usually stem from how the brewers feel during the first tasting, or anything they’ve been thinking about whilst brewing the first batch.

Why are some of your beers named by style, such as the Bohemian Pilsner and others not, such as Itchy Green Pants?
No reason really. Bo Pils was created on the back of the brewers wanting to do something a little bit “bohemian”, not necessarily Czech focused. In fact, all Pilsners generally have the Pilsner name as default…, ie Pilsner Urquell, Little Creatures The Original Pilsner, Bluetongue Pilsner.

The rest of our beers have names not related to the style, however when you say “Alpha”, it seems logical to say “Alpha Pale Ale” as it rolls off the tongue… when it is simply called “Alpha”. By leaving out the style of the beer within the name, we encourage stories and conversations which is what drinking beer is all about.

How do you come up with names for your beers?
Whatever goes at the time! If you look at Alpha, it is big and hoppy, Alpha acids are contained in hops… so there is the naming connection.

There isn’t a strict set of rules in order to name a beer, however most names are generally derived from the brewers enjoying the first brew out of the tank… and then whatever comes to mind!

Beez Neez contains Capilano honey, so that is an obvious one. Generally the brew team and someone from the brand team will enjoy the beer for the first time and toss up ideas on what first comes to mind or how it makes them feel.

Do you have a favourite among your own beer names? If so, why do you like that particular one? And how did you come to that name?
We don’t really have a favourite, we love them all. Itchy Green Pants (IGP) has a great ring to it, reminiscent of the green pants brewers wear that tend to get a little itchy around the groin. Fat Yak is another good one… I believe one of the brewers said that the beer was like a big hairy yak, then “Fat Yak" was coined.

What’s your pick of beer names from others?
Moon Dog come up with some radical names that are always good for a giggle, and they back it up with superb brews. Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Pale Ale is a goodie… the name Landlord evokes terrible memories of share accommodation – makes you want to drink it!

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