Beer Words: Alebush

This morning, the O.E.D. tweeted as their “Word of the Day,” the all but obselete word “alebush,” which they define as a “n. A bunch of ivy or other plant hung up as a tavern sign.”

Illustration by Imogen Foxell.

Here’s the full entry from the O.E.D., revised in 2012:


I would certainly like to see more bars, and especially beer gardens, using bushes and trees to mark their spaces.

New Old Beer Words: Nazz’d

Here’s still another new word that should be added to the beer lexicon. Well, it’s not exactly a new word, but has been around 1876, and most likely earlier. It showed up as the word of the day yesterday on my “Forgotten English” page-a-day calendar.

The word is nazz’d and is described as “confused through beer or liquor; slightly drunk. Nazzy, stupified through drink.” It was apparently listed in “C. Clough Robinson’s Dialect of Mid-Yorkshire, 1876.”

Trying to find out more, I found “Nazzle,” defined as “to be in a dreamy, stupid, abstracted state,” also apparently originating in Yorkshire, and listed in “Joseph Wright’s English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905.” They certainly sound like related words, though I can’t be absolutely certain.

And I also found this definition:

Nazz’d, or Nazzy, adj. slightly drunk. Stupified. “Gying nazzling alang,” sauntering in a state of abstraction.

That one’s from “A Glossary of Words Used in Swaledale, Yorkshire,” by Captain John Harland, published in 1873.

So my interpretation of the word is that it’s meant to describe a very specific type of intoxication. Maybe buzzed is close to it, although I’ve come to hate that word due to the prohibitionist’s appropriation of it, but an intoxication that’s not complete, falling down, incoherent drunk, but closer to that sweet spot where you’re in a dreamlike state. That’s a good place to be.


Beer Word: Symposium

Last year, for the members of the North American Guild of Beer Writers, I set up a post-CBC symposium the day after the Craft Brewers Conference ended in Philadelphia. We’ll be doing it again in DC this year, on Friday, April 14. Essentially it’s a mini-CBC and we had six speakers, one hour each, including one panel of three, over the course of the day. When I was putting it together, I wasn’t sure what to call it, but liked the sound of symposium. Merriam-Webster defines “symposium” as “a formal meeting at which several specialists deliver short addresses on a topic or on related topics” and states it’s “a meeting or conference for the discussion of some subject, especially a meeting at which several speakers talk on or discuss a topic before an audience.”

Symposium scene: a reclining youth holds aulos in one hand and gives another one to a female dancer. Tondo from an Attic red-figured Kylix, c. 490-480 BC. From Vulci.

But I just learned that it has an older, original meaning that made my choice of naming our symposium even more perfect than I’d realized. That meaning, according to Merriam-Webster is “a drinking party; especially: one following a banquet and providing music, singing, and conversation.” And defines it “(in ancient Greece and Rome) a convivial meeting, usually following a dinner, for drinking and intellectual conversation.”

Here’s the Etymology:

Borrowing from Latin symposium, from Ancient Greek συμπόσιον ‎(sumpósion, “drinking party”) from συμπίνω ‎(sumpínō, “drink together”) συν- ‎(sun-, “together-”) + πίνω ‎(pínō, “drink”).

A fresco taken from the north wall of the Tomb of the Diver
(from Paestum, Italy, c. 475 BC): a symposium scene.

This is from the Online Etymology Dictionary:

n. 1580s, “account of a gathering or party,” from Latin symposium “drinking party, symposium,” from Greek symposion “convivial gathering of the educated” (related to sympotes “drinking companion”), from syn- “together” (see syn- ) + posis “a drinking,” from a stem of Aeolic ponen “to drink,” cognate with Latin potare “to drink” (see potion ). The sense of “meeting on some subject” is from 1784. Reflecting the Greek fondness for mixing wine and intellectual discussion, the modern sense is especially from the word being used as a title for one of Plato’s dialogues. Greek plural is symposia, and the leader of one is a symposiarch (c.1600 in English).

And this is the “Did You Know?” section of Merriam-Webster:

It was drinking more than thinking that drew people to the original symposia and that gave us the word symposium. The ancient Greeks would often follow a banquet with a drinking party they called a “symposion.” That name came from “sympinein,” a verb that combines pinein, meaning “to drink,” with the prefix syn-, meaning “together.” Originally, English speakers only used “symposium” to refer to such an ancient Greek party, but in the 18th century British gentlemen’s clubs started using the word for gatherings in which intellectual conversation was fueled by drinking. By the 19th century, “symposium” had gained the more sober sense we know today, describing meetings in which the focus is more on the exchange of ideas and less on imbibing.

So that sounds about right, but with more emphasis on the imbibing, at least that was the goal. But I think I need to attend a lot more symposiums.


The 8 Kinds Of Drunks

There are a bewildering number of words to describe that someone has been drinking a bit to much. I’ve collected over 3,000 slang terms, or Drunk Words. There are modern terms, of course, and slang from almost every age of man. Even Ben Franklin had his own list. Another literary take on over-indulging came from Thomas Nashe, who “was a playwright, poet, and satirist. He is best known for his novel The Unfortunate Traveller.” He lived from 1567 until around 1601, and was also “considered the greatest of the English Elizabethan pamphleteers.” One of his pamphlets was entitled the Pierce Penniless, His Suppliction to the Devil, published in 1592. “It was among the most popular of the Elizabethan pamphlets.”

It is written from the point of view of Pierce, a man who has not met with good fortune, who now bitterly complains of the world’s wickedness, and addresses his complaints to the devil. At times the identity of Pierce seems to conflate with Nashe’s own. But Nashe also portrays Pierce as something of an arrogant and prodigal fool. The story is told in a style that is complex, witty, fulminating, extemporaneous, digressive, anecdotal, filled with wicked descriptions, and peppered with newly minted words and Latin phrases. The satire can be mocking and bitingly sharp, and at times Nashe’s style seems to relish its own obscurity.


And this is the sort of introduction of the list, that paragraphs that precede it.

King Edgar, because his subjects should not offend in swilling, and bibbing, as they did, caused certaine iron cups to be chayned to everie fountaine and wells fide, and at euery Vintner’s doore, with iron pins in them, to stint euery man how much he should drinke; and he that went beyond one of those pins forfeited a penny for euery draught. And, if stories were well searcht, I belieue hoopes in quart pots were inuented to that ende, that eury man should take his hoope, and no more. I haue heard it justified for a truth by great personages, that the olde Marquesse of Pisana (who yet liues) drinkes not once in feauen years; and I haue read of one Andron of Argos, that was so sildome thirstie, that hee trauailed ouer the hot, burning sands of Lybia, and neuer dranke. Then, why should our colde Clime bring forth such fierie throats? Are we more thivstie than Spaine and Italy, where the sunnes force is doubled? The Germaines and lowe Dutch, me thinkes, should bee continually kept moyst with the foggie ayre and stincking mystes that aryse out of theyr fennie soyle; but as their countrey is ouer-flowed with water, so are their heads alwayes ouer-flowen with wine, and in their bellyes they haue standing quag-myres and bogs of English beere.

One of their breede it was that writ the booke, De Arte Bibendi, a worshipfull treatise, fitte for none but Silenus and his asse to set forth : besides that volume, wee haue generall rules and injunctions, as good as printed precepts, or statutes set downe by Acte of Parliament, that goe from drunkard to drunkard; as still to keepe your first man, not to leaue anie flockes in the bottonie of the cup, to knock the glasse on your thumbe when you haue done, to haue some shooing home to pul on your wine, as a rasher of the coles, or a redde herring, to stirre it about with a candle’s ende to make it taste better, and not to hold your peace whiles the pot is stirring.

Nor haue we one or two kinde of drunkards onely, but eight kindes.


Below are the eight types of drunks, as articulated by Nashe, along with commentary by the staff of Merriam-Webster.

  1. Ape Drunk
    The first is ape drunke; and he leapes, and singes, and hollowes, and danceth for the heavens;

    From Merriam-Webster: A number of the animals referenced in Nashe’s list have found themselves commonly used in compound nouns, or functioning as a figurative adjective. Ape, however, appears to have largely escaped this fate. It does come up in the expression go ape (“to become very excited or angry”), which is somewhat similar in meaning to the actions of the drunk described by Nashe but as this is not recorded until the middle of the 20th century it is unlikely to have a connection to ape drunk.

  2. Lion Drunk
    The second is lion drunke; and he flings the pots about the house, calls his hostesse whore, breakes the glasse windowes with his dagger, and is apt to quarrell with anie man that speaks to him;

    From Merriam-Webster: When considering how often one encounters another person who might best be described as “drunk and mean,” it is rather odd that we should have lost more than one useful ways of referring to such a person in our language. For in addition to Nashe’s lion drunk a number of Scottish dictionaries make note of barley-hood, which is an episode of bad temper brought about by imbibing. A variant of this word, barlikhood, is memorably defined in the glossary to a collection of British plays from the late 18th century: “a fit of drunken angry passion.”

  3. Swine Drunk
    The third is swine drunke; heavie, lumpish, and sleepie, and cries for a little more drinke, and a fewe more cloathes;

    From Merriam-Webster: Some people think that swine have received a bad rap, what with the whole secondary meaning of “contemptible person,” large portions of the world’s population considering them unclean animals, and the general pejorative meanings of the word pig; others think that they likely don’t care much, save to be relieved that some people do not want to eat them. It is unclear to most lexicographers what connection exists between the members of the family Suidae and Nashe’s idea that a swine drunk wants a “fewe more cloathes.”

  4. Sheep Drunk
    The fourth is sheepe drunk; wise in his conceipt, when he cannot bring foorth a right word;

    From Merriam-Webster: Sheep are not an animal that is traditionally associated with drunkenness, or misbehavior of any sort, come to think of it. The word for this particular animal has been used to indicate that a person, or group or people, is timid, meek, or in some other fashion unassertive. If you would like to describe someone as sheepish, meaning “resembling a sheep”, but would like to not have to explain that you don’t mean the sense of sheepish that is tied to embarrassment, you may use the word ovine.

  5. Maudlin Drunk
    The fifth is mawdlen drunke; when a fellowe will weepe for kindnes in the midst of ale, and kisse you, saying, “By God, captaine, I love thee. Goe thy wayes; thou dost not thinke so often of me as I doo thee; I would (if it pleased God) I could not love thee as well as I doo;” and then he puts his finger in his eye, and cryes;

    From Merriam-Webster: We have all met the maudlin drunk; in fact, the word maudlin began with the express meaning of “drunk enough to be emotionally silly,” and later took on the sense of “effusively sentimental.” The word comes from Mary Magdalene, the name of the woman who is often thought to be represented as washing Jesus’ feet with her tears. Through this representation (which some people think is not necessarily Mary Magdalene) the name came to be associated with tears, teariness, and a general state of lachrymosity.

  6. Martin Drunk
    The sixt is Martin drunke; when a man is drunke, and drinkes himselfe sober ere he stirre;

    From Merriam-Webster: There are a number of animals which are called martin; the name is applied to a wide variety of swallows and flycatchers (these are birds), to a kind of female calf that is born simultaneous with a male (and which is usually sterile and sexually imperfect), and also was formerly used to refer to an ape or monkey. Nashe’s martin drunk most likely is concerned with the last of these three possibilities. The Oxford English Dictionary, one of the few that records any of these kinds of drunkards, suggests that the martin in question was chosen by Nashe as a means of referring to Martin Marprelate, the pseudonym of a rival pamphleteer in the late 16th century.

    While I think Merriam-Webster got most of these right, I think their analysis of Martin was a bit of a stretch, and I think there’s a simpler explanation. The “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,” from 1894, includes the following definition for “Martin Drunk:”

    Very intoxicated indeed; a drunken man “sobered” by drinking more. The feast of St. Martin (November 11) used to be held as a day of great debauch.

    St. Martin’s Day is still an important holiday in several countries, and I think that Martin being used in that sense makes a great deal more sense than the other, seemingly flimsier explanation.

  7. Goat Drunk
    The seventh is goate drunke; when, in his drunkennes, he hath no minde but on lecherie;

    From Merriam-Webster: The goat has long been associated with lechery, so it it not surprising that Nashe’s list should reserve this animal for the category of “drunk and horny.” Goat itself has had the meaning of “lecher” since the late 16th century, and a number of words meaning “resembling a goat” (such as rammish and hircine) have also taken on the meaning of “lustful.”

  8. Fox Drunk
    The eighth is fox drunke—when he is craftie drunke, as manie of the Dutchmen bee, that will never bargaine but when they are drunke.

    From Merriam-Webster: Many of us are somewhat familiar with the extended uses of fox, often implying slyness or craftiness, and which range from being used in expressions (crazy like a fox) to simply being on of the figurative meanings of the word itself (“a clever crafty person”). Less commonly known is the sense of fox (which is now somewhat archaic), meaning “drunk” (although, it should be noted, without any connotations of craftiness). And even less commonly known than this is that Dutchmen will not bargain unless they are drunk … we think Nashe may have made this one up. 

So what do you think of his list. It’s over 400 years old, but still seems to hold some universal truth. Although perhaps a more modern list might look a little different. We may have to look into that.

New Beer Words: Snotter

Here’s yet another new word that should be added to the beer lexicon. Well, it’s not exactly a new word, but has been around at least since 1824, and most likely earlier. It showed up today in my twitter feed, from Merriam-Webster, as part of their Words at Play series. The word is snotter and has several meanings, the most common being nautical — A fitting that holds the heel of a sprit close to the mast — and others along the lines of “to snivel; to cry or sob.” And more recently snotter is used as another word for snot.

But Merriam-Webster today highlighted an older, less-common meaning of the word in their Words at Play piece entitled “‘Snotter’, ‘Groak’, and 6 More Words Associated with Bad Habits.

Michael Jackson nosing a beer, during GABF judging in 2002.

Here’s the definition that should be folded into our beer lexicon:


Definition: to breathe noisily

Snotter is a dialectal British word, and, as is so often the case with dialect words, carries a certain trenchant charm. It also has a variety of closely-related meanings, as it may be used to refer to snoring, sniveling, sniffing, snorting, or simply as another way to say snot.

If you’ve ever been a beer judge, or even were in a room watching other people judge beer, then you’ve most likely encountered a snotter. There’s a whole lot of noisy breathing going on during beer judging, whether it’s one long draw or a series of short, quick sniffs. Frankly, if you’re not a snotter, you’re probably not doing it correctly.


Baby Beer Names

A few years ago I wrote an article for the Brewer’s Association I called Papa’s Got A Brand New Beer that was for Father’s Day. It featured a number of names that beer people have given their kids, celebrating their love of beer. My old friend, Adam Lambert — who I’ve known since he was in college and working part-time for SLO Brewing — recently tweeted “I think we need a blog for beer related kid names.” While setting up an entire new blog on that topic seemed too much, at least for me, I figured a page of People’s Beer Names could work.


I can only assume there are more that I haven’t run across. If you know of any to add to this list, please let me know by commenting here. I’m especially interested in names that parents have already given, so if you know a name that’s already been bestowed on a child, please let me know who (I don’t need exact name, just something like “employee at x brewery/bar/distributor/etc.”) so I can refer to without naming names.

Here are the names I already either know of, or seem possible.

Boy’s Names


  • Brett: confirmed — Brett Porter is head brewer at Goose Island/ABI, and formerly with Deschutes
  • Brewer: theoretical — appears in baby name books
  • Bud: fictionally confirmed — Bud Bundy, character on Married… with Children, named after Al Bundy’s favorite beer
  • Cooper: confirmed — son of a man with 20 years in the draft dispensing business
  • E.S.B. initials: unconfirmed — rumored story told to Jay R. Brooks for a name like “Ethan Sebastian Brown”
  • Flanders: possible — for the Belgian beer style, Flanders Red
  • Porter: confirmed — son of Jay R. Brooks, and also the son of Chris Graham, COO of MoreBeer
  • Stout: confirmed — A Facebook friend knows one

Girl’s Names


  • Abbey: possible — for Abbey-type breweries
  • Amber: confirmed — daughter of Geno Acevedo, El Toro Brewing, and middle name of the daughter of Colorado beer write Dan Rabin
  • Burton: possible — for the beer-brewing city in England
  • Cascade: possible — for the hop variety*
  • Crystal: possible — for the malt variety
  • Genny: possible — for Genesee Cream Ale, nicknamed “Genny”
  • Heather: possible — for the shrub used in brewing
  • India: confirmed — A Facebook friends knows a couple whose daughter got her name at least in part because they love IPAs and homebrew
  • Iris: possible — for Cantillon Iris
  • Kate: possible — for Portsmouth Kate the Great
  • Mara: confirmed — daughter of British beer writer Martyn Cornell, Hebrew for bitter
  • Matilda: possible — for Goose Island Matilda
  • Sierra: confirmed — daughter of Ken Grossman, Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Sofie: possible — for Goose Island Sofie
  • Vienna: confirmed — daughter Jennifer Talley, Auburn Alehouse

NOTE: * – I’ve seen many suggestions for different hop variety names, but most seem somewhat forced. Understanding that a name could conceivably be anything, I only want to list names that seem reasonable or have actually been given to a kid by his or her parents. For another example, I’ve seen several mentions suggesting “Bock” or “Lambic” as names, but unless someone’s actually named their kid those, they don’t really seem that likely to me. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of suggestions like that out there on the internet. really more bad suggestions than good ones.

Thesaurus Of Beer

Today is the birthday of Peter Roget. He was born in 1779, in London, the son of a Swiss clergyman, and became a doctor, but was obsessed with making lists since at least the age of eight. I can certainly relate. Thanks to several bad incidents in his life — both his father and his wife died young, and a favorite uncle committed suicide in front of him — he suffered depression most of his life, and worked on his thesaurus as a coping mechanism. When it was first published in 1852, the full title was Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition. After his death, both his son and then his grandson continued to work on new editions of what become known as Roget’s Thesaurus, the first reference book of its kind, although there are now dozens of similar books available.

I’m not sure if I’m so fascinated by words because I’m a writer, or if I’m a writer precisely because I love words. I have a long list of Beer In Other Languages, exhaustive lists of Drunk Words, slang terms for over-indulging and puke words, for when you really over-indulge. I’ve also looked at The Language Of Hangovers, but finding Beer Slang has proved far more difficult for some reason (although I should point out, that last one is a work in progress that I’ve only worked on a few times since first posting it in 2011).

As most beer historians will point out, beer as a generic term is fairly recent. Just ask Martyn Cornell or Ron Pattinson. And ale and lager as over-simplified subdivisions below beer is even trickier. But the fact remains, apart from wholly slang terms, there aren’t very many words which also mean beer, apart from beer. You might immediately offer “cerveza,” but that is, of course, in Spanish. So, because it’s Thesaurus Day, I checked out a few, and here’s what I found:

Roget’s Thesaurus

On Roget’s Thesaurus online, a search for “beer” yields this sparse response.

#959 Drunkenness: Nn. beer, barmy beer — beer.

Roget’s International Thesaurus 1922

Roget’s 1922 International Thesaurus is also online, on, though it’s pretty unsatisfying, too:

thesaurus-rogets-1922-beer, part of the family of reference website, gives this for beer synonyms:


Oxford Dictionaries Thesaurus

The Oxford Dictionaries website reveals just this.

ale, beverage, brew
informal jar, pint, booze, wallop, sherbet
NZ Australian hop

WordReference Thesaurus

WordReference gives this list of words.

malt beverage, malt liquor, brew, suds, the amber brew, slops, brewskie, the amber nectar (slang), lager, lager beer, bitter, stout, ale, pale ale, alcoholic drink, booze (slang), a pint, a half, draught beer, draft beer, tap beer, cask ale

Curiously, only amber nectar, and booze are listed as “slang,” yet virtually all of them seem like either slang, specific types of beer or modified types of beer, like “draft beer.”

Infoplease Thesaurus

The thesaurus at Infoplease online yields this:

1. beer, brew, brewage

usage: a general name for alcoholic beverages made by fermenting a cereal (or mixture of cereals) flavored with hops

OneLook Thesaurus

The OneLook Thesaurus gives their top 100 beer-related words, though many don’t even make sense. You can even keep going, 100 new words at a time, and not surprisingly they get even less related to beer as you go deeper, some ridiculously so.


Visual Thesaurus

This is the graph of beer synonyms that the Visual Thesaurus creates:


Graph Words Online Thesaurus

The Graph Words Online Thesaurus gives a very similar answer to the Visual Thesaurus:


Collins Dictionary Thesaurus

The Collins Dictionary Thesaurus gives this list of beer synonyms:



Visuwords created a colorful graph of beer words, though very few true synonyms:


Snappy Words

Snappy Words created this similar graph of beer words:


Also, Wordnik and Power Thesaurus both give extensive answers, pulling from numerous sources, but end up giving almost all of the same answers as everyone else.

The conclusion is pretty much what I expected. There just aren’t many other words that mean beer. Apart from goofy slang and colloquialisms, there’s just no good generic words for it. One strange one that kept coming up was “brewage.” I’ve never heard that come up in conversation, have you? “I’m sitting here enjoying a glass of brewage.” It just doesn’t roll off the tongue. Maybe because it’s too close to sewage. But along with “brew,” it appears to be the most common synonym to come up. How is it possible that one of the most common words for beer is one nobody actually uses? I guess I’ll just have to keep enjoying my beer without any colorful words to substitute. C’est la vie. Happy Thesaurus Day.

Punny Bars

If you’re one of those people who can barley stand a bad pun, you may want to reconsider reading this post. Personally, I’m a ferment believer. I love a good pun, the more groan-inducing the better, but I have learned that there are people in the world who do not agree; and while I can’t understand them, I do try to sympathize. So be warned, weizen up and it will be smooth aleing. Hopefully, bad puns are the yeast of your problems. This post is just for Schlitz and giggles, and for what it’s wort, it will all turn out for the best. Ales well that ends well.

So the website Atlas Obscura partnered with Digg to crowdsource groan-inducing puns that businesses used in naming themselves. You’ve seen them, ones like “Hannah and Her Scissors” or “A Shoe Grows in Brooklyn.” So they put out a virtual call for submissions and got around 3,000 back, whittled down to 1,900 after eliminating duplicates. In the end, they decided that while many submissions weren’t technically puns, but also included movie allusions, homophones, and dirty words, they were funny enough and were in the same spirit so allowed many of those, too. Apparently the most submitted name was for Vietnamese noodles, “9021-Pho,” and there were also inexplicably quite a few hair salons named “Curl up and Dye.”

Then they created an interactive map with all of the punny names, which they called The Ultimate Crowdsourced Map of Punny Businesses in America. They even divided them into major categories, including Cleaning Businesses/Flower Shops/Portable Bathrooms, Coffee shops, Doctors and Dentists, Food Trucks, Hair/Nail Salons, Pet Care, Restaurants and Other (including retail stores, vape shops and lots of yarn stores).


Then there was one other category that caught my eye: Bar/Pubs, which even included one brewery, although I’m not sure I would have listed it. Since it was crowdsourced, I feel certain they probably missed a few, or even a lot, given how many bad or punny bar names I’ve seen over the years. Some of these name you just know had to be created after a few drinks. Do I think alcohol may have been involved? Of Coors I do.

The Full List of Pun Bar and Pub Names:

Abe’s on Lincoln, Savannah, GA
Al Smith’s Saloon, East Troy, WI
Anchor Management Bar and Grill, Oroville, CA
Bar Celona, Pasadena, CA
Bar None, San Francisco, CA
Beer and Loathing in Dundee, Omaha, NE
Beerhive Pub, Salt Lake City, UT
Brews Brothers, Galveston, TX
Brews Brothers Taproom, Murphysboro, IL
C’MON INN, Fountain, CO
Catcher in the Rye, Los Angeles, CA
Chez When Cocktail Lounge, Sedalia, MO
Dancin’ Bare, Portland, OR
Deja Brew, Wendell, MA
Devil’s Advocate, Tempe, AZ
Dew Drop Inn, Cincinnati, OH; Washington, DC; Oak Creek Canyon, AZ & New Orleans, LA
Dick’s Halfway Inn, Rosedale, MD
Dupont Italian Kitchen Bar, Washington, DC
Fumducks, Houston, TX
Gordough’s Donuts, Austin, TX
Hi Dive, San Francisco, CA
Holmes Plate,Corning, NY
John’s Plumbing, Greensboro, NC
Kegler’s, Crest Hill, IL
Lei Low, Houston, TX
Longshots, Joliet, IL
LowBrau, Sacramento, CA
Mother Muff’s, Colorado Springs, CO
Mustang Alley’s, Baltimore, MD
My Brothers Place, San Bruno, CA
Neil’s Bahr, Houston, TX
Nice Ash, Waukesha, WI
Olive Or Twist, Portland, OR & Pittsburgh, PA
Paddy O’Beers, Raleigh, NC
Pour House, Hartford, CT; Jamison, PA; Exton, PA; St Louis, MO & Sacramento, CA
Sir Vezas, Tucson, AZ
Skinny Dick’s Halfway Inn, Fairbanks, AK
South Side Liquor Box, Toledo, OH
Stocks and Blondes, Chicago, IL
Stowaway Pub,Stow, OH
Swagger Inn, Lyndon Station, WI
Tequila Mockingbird, Ocean City, MD
The Big Legrowlski, Portland, OR
The Crossbar, Havertown, PA
The Crow Bar, Mount Holly, NJ
The Frosty Beaver, Cleveland, OH
The Hungry Beaver, Wrangell, AK
The Picnic Tap, Nashville, TN
The Pour House, Siren, WI; Raleigh, NC & James Island, SC
The Red, White & Brew, Hammond, LA
The Stagger Inn, Edwardsville, IL
The Tapp, Tarrytown, NY
The Tavernacle, Salt Lake City, UT
The Trappe Door, Greenville, SC
The Wine Seller, Williamsburg, VA
The Wurst Bar, Ypsilanti, MI
Thew Alibi, Coos Bay, OR
Thirst N’ Howl, Little Rock, AR
Torrey Pints, La Jolla, CA
Unwined, Discovery Bay, CA
What Ales You, Burlington, VT
Winegasm, Astoria, NY
Wish You Were Beer, Madison, AL
Wit’s Inn, New Orleans, LA
21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, CA

While the original list is now closed, if you know of one they missed that would fit into the spirit of this list, please add in the comments here. I feel confident there are many more. And if they included beer names, or even just hop pun names, the list would run into the thousands.

Still one of my favorite beer names.

The Language Of Hangovers

While searching for something this weekend, I happened upon A Few Too Many, by Joan Acocella, that appeared in The New Yorker magazine in May of 2008. If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m a word nerd, and love language. So her piece on hangovers included this gem of a paragraph, explaining how other languages described a hangover:

There’s some awesome phrases there, it may be time to create a page of hangover words, similar to Drunk Words, Puke Words and Beer Slang, or even my list of Beer In Other Languages.

Believe it or not, apparently the word “hangover,” meaning “a severe headache or other after effects caused by drinking an excess of alcohol,” was first used around 1902 or 1904 (depending on the source). It seems like it would be older than that, but apparently that’s when it was first seen in print in the United States, where the word originated. It did show up a little earlier, in 1894, as hang-over, but meaning “a survival, a thing left over from before.” Prior to hangover’s debut as the perfect word to describe our pain and discomfort, these were some of the most common words people used to describe that feeling.

  • black dog
  • blue-devils
  • bottle ache
  • bust-head
  • carpenters in the forehead
  • cropsick
  • gallon-distemper
  • hair-ache
  • jim-jams
  • katzenjammer
  • morning fog
  • wooden mouth
  • the zings

Here’s “hangover” in just a few languages, with the literal translation in brackets. My favorite is undoubtedly the Finnish word, which is “krapula,” which sounds exactly like you feel when you’re hungover.

  • Chinese (Mandarin): suzui [stay-over drunk]
  • Colombian Spanish: guayabo [guava trees]
  • Finnish: krapula
  • French: gueule de bois [a wooden gob]
  • Hebrew: הנגאובר [severe dizziness]
  • Hungarian: másnaposság [next-day-ish-ness]
  • Icelandic: thynnka [thinness]
  • Japanese: futsukayoi [two-day drunk]
  • Korean: suk-chwi [stay-over drunk]
  • Russian: poxmel’je [from drink]
  • Serbian: мамурлук [crapulence]
  • Spanish: resaca [undertow or backwash]
  • Swedish: kopparslagare [coppersmith]
  • Turkish: aksamdan kalmalık [evening remainder]
  • Vietnamese: dựng xiên [built cockeyed]
  • Zulu: babelaas or babbelas


And here’s a few random slang words for hangovers:

  • American slang, early 1900s: crapulous
  • American slang: PRS, for “Post Refreshment Syndrome”
  • Central American slang: “goma” which is rubber
  • Danish slang: tømmermænd, which apparently means “carpenters”
  • French, antiquated: mal aux cheveux, which essentially meant a “hair-ache”
  • German slang: kater, which means “tomcat,” and people hungover are also said to be “verkatert,” or “catted.” It’s supposedly derived from the word “katarrh,” an antiquated expression for an illness.
  • Italian slang: postumi della sbornia, which means the “after-death of the drunkenness”
  • Mexican slang: crudo, which means “raw”
  • Modern Irish: Ta dha cinn orm, which apparently means “There are two heads on me”
  • Polish slang: kac
  • Swedish slang: baksmälla, which roughly means “a whack on the ass”

And finally, here’s a list I found of “distinctly Irish ways to describe your hangover:”

  • I’m in Lego
  • The horrors
  • I feel like boiled shite
  • Sick as a small hospital
  • I’m puking my ring
  • Bottle of ghosts
  • I’ve had a bad pint
  • Brown bottle flu
  • I’m in a heap
  • Mouth like a fur boot
  • I’ve got The Fear
  • In rag order


When Is A Brewhouse Not A Brewhouse?

I know that title sounds like a riddle, but it’s not meant to be. It’s meant to start a discussion about something I’ve been noticing lately that’s starting to confound and annoy me, at least a little bit. I was on a family vacation last week, taking a road trip to the L.A. area to visit some beaches and some friends. As we began our holiday, we stopped for two days in Pismo Beach, and as we drove into town, I could see an intriguing sounding place from the highway called the Shell Beach Brewhouse. Since this was strictly a family holiday, I hadn’t done any reconnaissance on breweries but was secretly happy I’d spotted one. So after a quick dip in the pool (which are like strong magnets for my kids) we headed out for dinner and a few beers. It turned out that by “brewhouse,” they meant taphouse restaurant. Which was fine up to a point. The food was decent, the beer list almost passable, though the service was subpar. But it brings me to the larger point. When is a Brewhouse not a Brewhouse?

Earlier this year — or was it last year? — during a weekend trip to Monterey, I went to the Cannery Row Brewing Company while the rest of the family was shopping. At this point you probably won’t be surprised to learn that it was NOT a brewery, but a taphouse restaurant. Is this a growing trend, calling yourself something that suggests, implies or downright claims that you brew beer? Is it dishonest? I can see an argument that a brewhouse is a house with brews in it, but when I see the word brewhouse, I think of a place where people start to brew beer, with kettles, tuns and raw ingredients … oh, and hoses. Don’t forget the hoses.


Clearly, there’s no consensus on a naming convention. The Brewhouse in Santa Barbara does brew their own beer, as does the Barrel Head Brewhouse in San Francisco. Fitger’s Brewhouse in Duluth, Minnesota actually brews, as does Rupert’s Brew House in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Audacity Brew House in Denton, Texas and the Covington Brewhouse in Covington, Lousiana. Also brewing their own beer is the Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, Rhode Island and the Crescent City Brewhouse in New Orleans. And so is the Northwinds Brewhouse & Eatery in Ontario, Canada, the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage, Alaska and all three McKenzie Brewhouse locations in Pennsylvania.

Skirting the naming, sort of, is the Temple Brew House in London, England, which serves its own beer, but the brewery itself is known as the Essex Street Brewing Company, which they explain as:

The Essex Street Brewing Company was founded in November 2014 to create great artisan beers, on site, and delicious to the good people of Temple. We’re really proud of our brewery, which is why it was built at the heart of the pub and the first thing you see as you walk down Essex Street.

But the BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse only used to, and today contracts their beer and trucks it to each location. I mean they … er to be fair, by they, I mean Michael Ferguson, brews the beer at a remote location, but the BJs themselves, which have “brewhouse” in their name, do not brew the beer onsite any longer even though it is exclusively brewed for them, by them.

There’s also the Flipside Brewhouse in Rohnert Part, the town right next to me [though they have apparently received brewing equipment months ago, it has yet to be installed or used despite claiming “Well Estd Brewhouse” on their logo], The BrewHouse in San Juan Capistrano [though I’m told they may have started gypsy brewing at other local breweries], and Scotty’s Brewhouse operates a dozen locations in Indiana. Then there’s the Brown Iron Brewhouse in Washington, Michigan and The Brew House in Maryland Heights, Missouri. What do all of these brewhouses have in common? They don’t brew their own beer onsite.

Also not brewing any beer is the Broadway Brewhouse of New Philadelphia, Ohio, Joe K’s Brewhouse in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Upright Brew House in New York City, L.A.’s Blue Palms Brewhouse, and the 2nd Street Brewhouse in Philadelphia.

The Brew House & Bistro in Forest City, North Carolina, the Brewhouse Pub & Grille in Helena, Montana and The Brew House Bar and Restaurant in Pearl River, New York, along with many others, at least hint that they’re not actually brewing by including the word or words bar, pub, grille or restaurant in their names, too. That helps, at least a little bit, but still seems slightly misleading.

But what’s clear is that there’s no consensus. There’s plenty of examples of businesses with the word “brewhouse” featured prominently in their name that both brew beer onsite and do not. My list above is by no means complete or scientific, but the result of looking at the first few pages of a Google search for “brewhouse.” It does give a good indication that the use of the term “brewhouse” is all over the map. The actual definition, however, seems less open to debate.

The definition of a brewhouse is quite simple:

brewhouse [broo-hous]
noun, plural brewhouses [broo-hou-ziz]
1. brewery.

Even the Oxford Dictionary definition is pretty succinct: “noun; A brewery.” And those definitions are not just a recent development indicative of a word in transition. The Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary from 1828, as updated in 1913, defines a brewhouse as ” n. A house or building appropriated to brewing; a brewery.” So it’s fairly unambiguous, there’s little room for nuance in those definitions. Which is comforting, because that’s certainly the sense in which I’ve always understood the word.


When a bar uses the word(s) brewing company or brew pub in their name that seems even more questionable since the words are less ambiguous even than brewhouse. While the Cannery Row Brewing Company is the only one I can remember by name, I’m pretty sure I’ve run into a couple of others over the years. If you know of a place that calls itself a “brewing company” but isn’t, let me know in the comments below, please. For obvious reasons, it’s much harder to search for businesses with brewing in their name but that don’t brew. Google doesn’t parse that information, sadly.

[Happily — or sadly — I was not wrong about there being additional “brewing company” businesses that do not brew, which readers were kind enough to alert me to. Here are a few more I’ve learned about. The Los Angeles Brewing Company, is a bar in downtown L.A. that at least claims they “do not currently brew beer on our premises, we have future plans to do so.” Also in L.A. was the Weiland Brewery Underground, but after 14 years of calling itself a brewery closed at the end of June this year. In Rochester, New York, the California Brew Haus has been not brewing their own beer for 45 years so far, and both the Visalia Brewing Company and Valley Brewing Company used to operate breweries but haven’t for long enough that they should probably stop calling themselves one. In the case of Valley Brew, it’s been a few years now since they removed the equipment but on their website they still refer to themselves as a “microbrewery” and the Google summary states “The Valley Brewing Company is Stockton’s oldest brewery.”]

Brewpub, or brew pub, however, seems even trickier. A much newer term, at least in common use, I would not have thought anyone would call themselves one without actually being a brewpub. But the Iron Horse Bar & Grill, in Montana, used to be called the Iron Horse Brew Pub, but changed their name, perhaps bowing to consumer pressure. I don’t know exactly when it changed its name, but the 2012 edition of the “Moon Spotlight Missoula & Northwestern Montana” travel guidebook still lists the brew pub name (and discloses their lack of brewing) so it must be pretty recently. Their website URL is still “” Since they opened in 1991, that suggests that they were known incorrectly as a brew pub for at least 21+ years. Or is it technically a pub that serves brews, and that makes the name okay? That seems to be stretching things, but perhaps that’s the argument.

So it seems clear that a brewhouse in the ordinary meaning of the word is a brewery. And brew pub, brewpub or brewing company seem even more obviously misleading if brewing is not done onsite. Yet a number of bars, restaurants and the like are calling themselves a “brewhouse” without doing any actual brewing on premise, and there are at least a few instances of the other variety.

My question for the beer collective hive mind is this: Should an establishment not brewing beer be permitted to call itself a brewhouse, brewpub or brewing company, or is it misleading the public? Or does it simply not matter? I realize that there’s probably not any meaningful way to actually stop someone from calling their bar or restaurant whatever they want. But it seems like social pressure could be brought to bear. Or maybe I’m just being a pedantic grammar nutcase. What’s your take?

UPDATE 8.5: Thanks for everyone who’s commented. The list of places who brew and don’t brew with brewhouse and other potentially misleading names was meant to illustrate that there are a great number of both. As I stated, it was neither scientific nor in any way complete. However, several people have offered updated information about some of those places and also suggested new places, so I’ve decided to update those, where it makes sense, using [brackets], so you know that’s the updated information.