“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
I was actually inspired to write this post after teaching Shakespeare to a group of students the other day. (Yes, my “real job” is to educate the future minds of America-now do you understand why I love/NEED craft beer?!) We spend so much of our time at our local breweries, but have you ever stopped and wondered where they got their names from? I reached out to several local breweries and asked them about the significance of their brewery’s name. Below are the responses I got.
“Our name like many came to us after a bit of a journey. We originally were going to call ourselves “Because It’s … Brewing. ” We liked the idea of omitting a word and to be able to have fun with it, for example, because it’s (the weekend) or another fun combo you can easily think of. As we explored the use we realized it was a bit much for social media and the like. So a great friend of ours quickly suggested Ellipsis and we quickly were like “ya! That sums it up perfectly! We quickly adopted the 3 dots into characters on Ts and to be symbolic of the three people that started our brewery.”
“Ivanhoe Park was an amusement park located on Lake Ivanhoe back in 1910-1919. It was founded by George Russell, who owned all the land where College Park and Ivanhoe Village currently sit and grew pineapples that were so popular, even the White House requested them. The amusement park was initially called Russel’s Point and the locals called it Ivanhoe Park, but in 1915 they had a contest in the community and they renamed it Joyland. Joyland was actually one of our choices for the brewery, but it just didn’t fit the naming we were looking for, so we kept Joyland for the name of our flagship IPA. We also named our Blonde Ale after the main attraction in Ivanhoe Park, Toboggan. The Toboggan slide was the main attraction at the time.”
For more info check out the Our Story section on their website.
“The name Half Barrel Beer Project has a few important connections for us. Our business model is based around beer culture. For most, you choose which road you want to take as a beer-based business. You basically have 3 options: brewery, bottle shop, or taproom. We decided we wanted all three. We started as a bottle shop and taproom with a very small footprint. We stock no more than a half barrel (one keg) of one kind of beer at any given time, which allows us to rotate our taps constantly. The second tie in is that when we first started brewing, we used a small system and only had a half barrel sized fermentation tanks. However, we found that the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze with that size batch and we upgraded to a 1 barrel system last year. We still, however, have several half-barrel fermentation tanks that we use to split batches and treat separately. The second half “Beer Project” just speaks to the fact that we are a small batch place and we are always experimenting. Every beer recipe we brew is a work in progress.”
“The Wolfe part of our name is a combination of the owners’ last names (Wolverton and Rolfe) hence the E in Wolfe. The Deviant part is in the definition “to deviate from” because the owners all have careers we “deviated from” to open our brewery. So we’re Deviant Wolfe! Our logo is a campfire because campfires are places people gather, outdoors, usually while enjoying a good beer. It encompasses our passions and is the basis of our brewery’s culture.”
“We chose the name Wolf Branch because simply it is the street name where my sister and parents live in. When I was active duty army, I had to leave my dog with her but would visit him as often as I could. I always loved the street name and it used to be a really cool country street with horses all over the place. Then my parents moved close to them and that is where we started brewing and where the idea of the brewery was born.”
Greg J. Piecora started home brewing, and when contemplating a name, he originally was going to call it “Warship Brewing” to honor his service in the Navy. However, Wop’s Hops had already stuck with locals as “wop”. Greg’s wife, who also does the artwork on bottles for Wop’s Hops lovingly calls him “the wop” and is her pet name for him. Greg and his wife are proud Italian Americans, Wop’s Hops also serves delicious Italian food at the brewery. The origin of the word “wop” comes from Ellis island meaning “without papers” which applied to anyone passing through that got a stamp of “wop,” but since there was a massive influx of Italians coming at that time, it stuck with the Italian Americans and is used within the community. To honor his Italian Americans’ heritage and his wife, he held with Wop’s Hops, a name to stick out and easily recognize.
We had several different ideas when we were trying to come up with a name for the brewery in 2015. Some of them we really liked but found that the names were already being used as trademarked beer names by other breweries. That’s when we sat back and really looked at where we were going to be located, and it was crystal clear. Ocoee is right off of a few major toll roads (429, Florida Turnpike and 408), and one thing that a lot of tourists complain about is the number of toll roads in Central Florida. We then searched and found the name was clear for use, and Toll Road Brewing Company was born!
In mid-2017, Jeremy and I were sitting in his homebrew shop on Curry Ford Rd. Around 1 o’clock or so, Jeremy said, “Hey, I think I’m going to open a brewery. Do you want to open it with me?”
I said, “Sure, I’m dumb enough to risk everything… Let’s do it!”. 🙂
I’m kidding about that. I said, “Heck yeah man, let’s do it!”
We sat there for several hours researching historical sites and people that are local to Orlando. We came up with names like Orange Grove, Sandcastle, Sandy Beach (the original name of Lake Eola), etc. Some were just awful and aren’t mentioning.
At some point, I said, “Dude, why don’t we use our names like pitrock or pittman-rock or RockPit?”
Jeremy said, “Yes! RockPit! That sounds awesome!”
We air-fived and solidified that as our name.
From there, we backfilled the RockPit theme with his family history of coal mining and starting to build the brand around that.
When Sean came aboard a few months later, we asked if we should update the name because it was the three of us now, he responded: “Hell no, that name is awesome.”
Eighteen months later, RockPit Brewing opened its doors.
Inner Compass Brewery was formed in 2014 and opened on Feb 26, 2018. The name was derived from believing in achieving your goals. Inner meaning something you have wanted to do as a career for quite some time, your inner passion. Compass meaning this is the direction you want your life to evolve. Craft brewing has been a passion of the owners for over 15 years, where the initial idea stemmed from home brewing that then branched out to a 5-gallon testing homebrew and eventually to what it is today. Our motto: beer…it’s not just what we do; it’s who we are.
Updated: December 2019