Kinesiology senior Nick Larson and aerospace engineering senior Jake Devincenzi are Mustang News beer columnists. | David Jang/Mustang News

Nick Larson and Jake Devincenzi
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Kinesiology senior Nick Larson and aerospace engineering senior Jake Devincenzi are Mustang News beer columnists.

When we head to the local liquor store, there are three criteria we consider when purchasing our beer: price, brewery and name. Being college students, price is obviously always taken into account. We’re much more willing to try a bomber of something we have never seen before if it’s around $5 or $6, as opposed to an unfamiliar beer that’s twice that. Breweries we are familiar with also catch our eye, especially if it’s something new to us. If we are certain of the quality of a particular brewery, we are willing to drop a few extra dollars, as the beer is probably pretty tasty. The final factor that’ll convince us to buy something is the name and the design of the label. Sure, the beer may not always be great, but it’ll look good in our collection. And you never know, there are times when you find a diamond in the rough, and now you have a new favorite brewery.

As we’ve (not so) humbly mentioned in previous columns, we have a decently extensive bomber collection  we’ve been adding to for approximately two years. There’s quite a few with some awesome names, so here’s a list of our favorite names, with a little quip about the taste as well.

1. “Birthday Suit,” Uinta Brewing Co., Salt Lake City, Utah

For its 20th birthday, Uinta released this Sour Brown Ale with a likeable name. Who doesn’t love birthday suits? Of course, we bought it and drank it. Oh, and who knew Utah allowed breweries? Not us. But good for you, Utah.

2. “Stony Face Red Ale,” Hoppy Brewing Co., Sacramento, Calif.

A bottle with a sun that has a sunken face and a rasta hat on is a recipe for purchase. Along with its line of other faces inside suns, Hoppy Brewing has quite the collection of creative labels, great on any wall or bookshelf. On top of that, its beers are affordable and quite tasty.

3. “Piraat Ale,” Brouwerij Van Steenberge, Belgium

Classic Belgian Tripel with a sweet taste. And oh, yeah, it has a shiny pirate ship on the front of the bottle. Piraat Ale is fit for any drunken sailor’s wall.

4. “Kilt Lifter,” Moylan’s Brewery and Restaurant, Novato, Calif.

One of our favorite Scotch ales, Kilt Lifter is a great beer with a great name. True to its Scottish roots, there’s nothing like a lifted kilt.

5. “Undead Party Crasher,” Clown Shoes Brewing Co., Ipswich, Mass.

Clown Shoes has a sense of humor, as well as some good beer. Along with this zombie-themed beer, they have other titles such as “Flight of the Pimp,” “Genghis Pecan,” “Muffin Top,” “Blaecorn Unidragon” and “Chocolate Sombrero.” The artwork on the labels is also top-notch, matching the genius names.

6. “Velvet Merkin,” Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Paso Robles, Calif.

We aren’t gonna tell you what a merkin is, but Google will.

7. “The Hairy Eyeball Ale,” Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma, Calif.

The traditional Lagunitas dog is the focal point of this label, with the unappealing hairy eyeball name. Yet somehow, we were enticed, and it sits alongside our extensive Lagunitas collection.

8. “Enjoy By 4.20.14”, Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, Calif.

There are few greater marketing strategies than Stone’s “Enjoy By” series. Getting people to drink your beer as quickly as possible, then await the next release? It’s genius. And this “devastatingly dank” version looks great on any wall. In addition, the series of IPAs are delicious.

9.”Palate Wrecker,” Green Flash Brewing Company, San Diego, Calif.

Having your palate wrecked seems mildly sadistic, yet it’s oh, so intriguing. Green Flash’s bottles are basic, but the name gives it a sense of flair and accomplishment.

10. “Brother David’s Triple,” Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Boonville, Calif.

Any Arrested Development fan will love this bottle. Tobias Funke, aka “Brother David,” is a beer fan, and his beer blue us away.

11. “La Terrible,” Unibroue, Chambly, Canada

It’s bold for a brewery to put nothing on a black bottle except for “Terrible.” However, this beer is nowhere near terrible.

You may wonder what labels and names have to do with beer, but we’d argue this has everything to do with beer. Marketability is what allows breweries to expand their reach from the East Coast to get to us on the West Coast. Without it, we wouldn’t get beers like Dogfish Head and Clown Shoes and Smaltz. Obviously, what’s inside the bottle is most important, but when you’re staring at a wall lined with hundreds of bottles, something has to set them apart. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your selection. At the very least, you’ll have a cool piece of glass.

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