A Wall Street Journal article about hop puns in IPA names has been making the social media rounds since last week. It details the rise in legal tangles over such IPA names; realistically, there are only so many hop puns in the world and, with 4,600-plus breweries in America, different breweries are bound to have the same stroke of … genius (‘Hop, Collaborate and Listen!’ Surely no one’s thought of this yet!).
While we armchair brewers and marketers sit at our keyboards telling you how to run your businesses, I’d like to add one more plea: Can we put the orange juice names to rest for a while as well? Given the advancing trend toward so-called Northeast-style IPAs (hazy, low in bitterness, and most importantly, juicy as Tropicana), it’s become difficult to remember whether that New England-brewed IPA that I loved last week was called Ripe, er, Juicebox, er no, Grovestand Extra Pulp?
In the past year, we’ve sipped Big Juice IIPA, a brawny imperial IPA from Three Magnets; Juicebox, a murky and pithy IPA from Søle Artisan Ales; Julius, a Creamsicle-like delight from Tree House; Pulp, a tangerine-leaning IPA from RaR (which is not to be confused with Civil Society’s Pulp IPA, or the Breakside/Fat Head’s collaboration Pulp-Free IPA). We could also check off Tree House Juice Machine, Great Notion Juice Box and Juice Jr., Civil Society Juice and Hill Farmstead Juicy. (Cue the Notorious B.I.G.)
I understand the inclination toward these names since the brews are, indeed, citrus-fruity, courtesy of some delicious and in-vogue hops like Citra and Mosaic. But it’s honestly become difficult to remember which brewery is responsible for which beer as I open my fridge and think I’m reading a Jamba Juice menu.