For many years, wine and liquor enthusiasts held their noses up to the “lowly” beer-swilling types who were content to imbibe anything with carbonation and the slightest bit of taste, but since the craft brewery revolution has turned from scattered appreciators to an industry that has come into its own in great capacity, that kind of chatter has died like Zima and Skyy Blue. With it, many more countries all over the world have come to know what only Germans, Belgians, and other early American settlers did: how incredibly varied and tasty beer can truly be. And thanks to breweries, beer styles, jargon and all, there are plenty of ways to turn these wholly beer-centric titles into the perfect dog names.
Craft Beer Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
While there are certainly many dog-themed craft breweries pushing their wares on the market, such as Dogfish Head and Flying Dog, each with their own unique backstory, the one that may be the doggiest of them all is Lagunitas — although it should be noted that after a 2015 buyout by Heineken, it’s no longer technically considered a craft brewery.
Formed after musician and print-man Tony Magee got tired of the Chicago scene and moved out to California, Lagunitas soon took after those that influenced it (Anchor and Sierra Nevada) by skyrocketing into success. Once just a man interested in home-brewing, the company took off after Magee got his legs under himself with one of his first brews, the aptly titled Dogtown Pale Ale. On the label, they placed an unnamed dog modeled after one of the best-loved pit bulls in history, Petey from the Little Rascals — an iconic tribute to both those great canine figures who have helped to attract buyers to brands for years (see RCA Records, Buster Brown Shoes and Budweiser’s Spuds McKenzie) and faithful companions everywhere. Since then, it has become not only a well-loved symbol of their brand, but a symbol of the type of loyalty they want to have to their consumers and vice versa.
Now, 25 years after first opening their doors, Lagunitas has amassed some serious credibility in the dog-centric circles and you don’t have to look far beyond their website to discover why. As quoted on their about page, “When you visit the brewery you see dogs aren’t just on all our packaging, they’re part of everything we do…”, and that’s no joke. Not only are their offices and taprooms dog-friendly, but even their fermenters are named after beloved dogs that have long since passed. Throughout the years, they’ve celebrated canines regularly, including one of their seasonal beers named Sirius Ale, named after the Dog Star, Sirius. The Oktoberfest they released in 1998 was a tribute to and a commemoration of Magee’s faithful German shepherd named Blue. And, of course, there is the ever-present pit bull whose face appears on the label of nearly every bottle produced — and every bottle cap.
On top of all of that, they also support numerous animal welfares, rescues, and other nonprofits by providing their beers for charity events, proving that at the end of even the most dog-eat-dog days, every person can enjoy life as much as a dog with two tails, as long as there are both caring and companionship from those around us.
Craft Beer Inspired Dog Name Considerations
Because the types of notable beer-specific names that exist, there are several ways to go about choosing the right one for your dog. One line of thinking is that you could choose a beer style based purely on your dog’s overall characteristics, from their looks to their personality. For instance, if you have a dog that is dark and smooth, you could consider Dunkel (not unlike the actual Dunkel breed). If they’re light and easy-going, then maybe Hefe or Lager would be more appropriate.
Of course, you can always try to get clever as well. If your dog loves to swim, then Dogfish would be a great pick. If they love to just lie around all day, then Stone would be suitable. If they’re dark and short, Stout would be a great choice the same way Hairof would be apt for a dog that always comes back for more.
There are plenty of beers and breweries you can build off of that aren’t on our list, but we figured these names and words would be a good starting point, especially since they capture a significant breadth of the brewing world. If nothing else, buy a favorite, try something new or go taste a flight at your local brewery and see if anything jumps out at you. Just make sure you’re responsible so you’re not the one jumping (or falling) out of your stool.