This script is from the second season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at beernotes.org.

With more craft breweries and craft beers popping up in the U.S. every day, the world of craft beer marketing is a competitive one. There are so many good beers on the shelves fighting for the consumer’s attention that it often takes a clever name to really stand out. This week on Beer Notes, we’re discussing where craft beers get their names.

As the craft brewing business shifts from one focused on national domination and becomes more community-based, smaller breweries use local-inspired names to attract local customers.

Fin City Brewing in Ocean City, Maryland made a name for themselves by naming their beers in homage to the Eastern Shore’s strong fishing and boating culture. The White Marlin Pale Ale was named after Ocean City’s White Marlin Open, the largest billfishing tournament in the world.

Their Jackspot Amber Ale was named after Captain Jack Townsend, a well-known Ocean City angler in the 1930s who discovered an abundant fishing hole 23 miles from the Shore. A record 171 White Marlin were caught there on July 29th, 1939, and the hole was dubbed the “Jackspot.”

One more example, of many, is Fin City’s Bad Luck Banana — although this one applies to all sailors, not just those in Ocean City. Superstition says that bananas on your boat will hurt your chances of catching any fish, but Bad Luck Banana will definitely help your chances of catching a buzz.

Do some research and you’ll find that practically every craft beer on the market has an interesting story about where it got its name. A name that’s specific to the community it was brewed in will be almost as memorable as the taste. For Beer Notes, this is Ann McGinnis Hillyer.

Kristin Helf
Author: Kristin Helf

Kristin is a writer and picture-taker in Ocean City, Maryland. She likes puppies, pumpkin ales and watching movies for the Ocean City Film Festival in her spare time.

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