Saturday, 19 April 2008

Arrgghh! Stop, I can't take it any more! I'll give you the top-secret invasion plans! (Or: The Real Ale Name Problem)

We regularly hear the world of real ale claim it desires a) more drinkers who are young, b) more drinkers who are women (indeed, people in both categories, young women, seem the most elusive customer.)

I believe the prevailing fallacy within the world of real ale is "many people don't know real ale exists: if more people knew of its existence, more people would drink it." 

In my experience practically all of the drinking population is aware of real ale but significant numbers find themselves alienated by several characteristics of the genre.

A recurrent theme is the alienation provided by the stupid names. 

To illustrate the problem I have made a list of beer names which jumped out at me from the pages of the CAMRA's 2008 Good Beer Guide.

Prepare to cringe.

[WARNING: clunking wordplays, forced alliteration, bad puns, feeble jokes and swords and sorcery follow]

Ale Mary
Baz's Bonce Blower
Bearly Literate
Bashful Beaver
Bumble Hole Bitter
Codrington Codger
Collie Wobbles
Crafty Shag
Croak & Stagger
Dizzy Dick
Doff Cocker
Dog Daze
Dozey Dawg
Druid's Fluid
Fine Fettle
Flashman's Clout
Friar Duck
Friggin in the Riggin
Frog Bog
Funky Monkey
Gartley Nagger
Guest Fest
Hadda's Headbanger
Hairy Helmet
Haunted Hen
Honey Bunny
Humpty Dumpty's Downfall
Hung Drawn 'n' Portered
Jock's Trap
Keel Over
Keystone Hops
Knocker Up
Kornish Nektar
Kripple Dick
Lancashire & Yorkshire Aleway
Land of Hop and Glory
Leper Squint
Lickerish Stout
Love Muscle
Mad Monk
Milk of Amnesia
Mucky Duck
Mutley's Revenge
Mutts Nuts
Naughty Ferrets
Naughty Nell's
Nessies Monster Mash
Nether Underestimate a Blonde
No-Eye Deer
Norfolk Nog
Nowtsa Matter
Numpty Bitter
Oggy Vog
Old(e) - 81 examples including:
Old Comfort
Old Disreputable
Old Dog
Old Fecker
Old Growler
Old Groyne
Old Jock
Old Knobbley
Old Slapper
Old Slug
Old Speckled Hen
Old Stoatwobbler
Old Stumpy
Old Tosser
Olde Codger
One for the Toad
One-Der-Ful Wheat
Over and Stout
Pail Ail
Pain in the Glass
Palmer's Poison
Parker's Porter
Parson's Pledge
Pawn Star
Penny's Porter
Peploe's Tipple
Pheasant Plucker
Piddle in the Dark/Hole/Snow/Wind
Pinch Noggin'
Piston Bitter / Brew
Plucking Pheasant
Poacher's Dick/Pocket/Pride/Trail
Polly's Folly
Pot Wallop
Pressed Rat and Warthog
Pucks Folly
Pure Ubu
Puritan's Porter
Quacker Jack
Rack and Ruin
Rail Ale
Rambers Ruin
Rampant Gryphon
Rams Revenge
Reel Ale
Ribble Rouser
Ringing Roger
Rite Flanker
Rougham Ready
Rucking Mole
Rusty Bucket
Sauce of the Niall
Sawley Tempted
Sheepshaggers Gold
Side Pocket for a Toad
Silk of Amnesia
Sipping Bull
Slaughter Porter
Sleck Dust
Slippery Jack
Slurping Stoat
Snoozy Suzy
Soar Head
Spike's on t'Way
Summa That
Sunny Daze
Sweaty Clog
Tabatha the Knackered
Tackler's Tipple
Taffy's Tipple
Thistle Tickler
Tits Up
Tittesworth Tipple
Top Totty
Trembling Rabbit
Trotter's Tipple
Trout Tickler
Weiss Buoy
Weiss Squad
What the Duck
Whitley Wobbler
Wigan Bier
Winkle Warmer Porter
Wobbly Bob
Ye Olde Trout

After all that, mine's a pint of the beautifully named Stella Artois.

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