Monday, 22 April 2013

Offensive Beer Names

I thought it might be illuminating to look through the names of the beers we've had on tap at Hashigo Zake and check whether anyone might be offended by them. This could be an invaluable resource the next time the Dominion Post are looking for a story. By the time I got to the Es I was exhausted.

But to be fair to the Dominion Post, Garage Project do appear in this list an alarming number of times, and this is without getting as far as Golden Brown and Pernicious Weed.

Possibly offended group
victims of gun violence
Avarice IIPA
Bastard Rye
Garage Project
children of rye farmers
Beach Bum
Twisted Hop
beach goers
Beastwars IPA
victims of beast attacks
Black Arrow Pils
victims of terrorism
Black Dwarf
8 Wired
black people of small stature
Black Magic IPA
Golden Bear
victims of voodoo
Black Ops IPA
victims of counter-terrorism
Black Power
victims of gangs
Black the RIPA
Victorian era prostitutes
Blackbeard Porter
Golden Bear
victims of piracy
BlitzGreig IPA
victims of the Blitz
Bumaye Imperial Stout
8 Wired
George Foreman
Bye Bye Blanket Man
Blanket Man
California Uber Alles
Garage Project
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Cherry Bomb
Garage Project
victims of chemical weapons
Funk Estate
Czar Imperial Stout
Dasher’s Envy
Moon Dog
Day of the Dead
Garage Project
the undead
Dead Good Pilsner
Free House
the living
victims of mining disasters
Defibrillator Weizenbock
Doctor’s Orders
victims of heart disease
Dirty Blonde
Cock and Bull
Emerson's last of the Mohicans
native Americans
Epic Armageddon
Expat Pom Porter
Twisted Hop

Lift Your Game, Dominion Post

There’s nothing like seeing someone or something that you know turned into media cannon-fodder, to realise just how seedy journalism can get.

Garage Project’s Death From Above is not for sale anywhere yet and won’t be for a month. And it’s not being advertised anywhere, unless you count the brewery showing the artwork to its subscribers on social media.

That branding and artwork was actually the result of a forced change, after the beer’s intended name turned out to conflict with an existing brand. The intention all along was to make reference to the 34 year old movie Apocalypse Now. The beer in question has some ingredients with Vietnamese connections as well as being packed with American hops. It will no doubt be quite a mouthful. So in craft beer land an allusion to Robert Duvall’s Ride of the Valkyries-playing airborne cavalry is really, really apt.

Now to put things in perspective, Apocalypse Now has for years been the name of more than one bar in Vietnam. (Even more amusingly, Phnom Penh has a bar called “Heart of Darkness”.) The Apocalypse Now in Saigon has a surfboard on display with the slogan “Charlie Don’t Surf”.

But today must have been a slow news day, because someone at the Dominion Post saw fit to make calls to the RSA, a couple of Vietnam-born New Zealanders and a university academic to try and stir up some offence from people who would almost certainly not have heard of Death From Above if the reporter hasn’t called.

I don’t know much about the use of napalm, but it sounds as though it was a complete blunder to associate the airborne cavalry with the dropping of napalm, as the Dominion Post story did. But I guess if you only know Apocalypse Now from sound-bites, it is Duvall’s character who professes affection for the aroma of napalm.

Now as if the actions of Dominion Post, Stuff and Fairfax weren't sleazy enough, try going on Stuff and making a criticism of them for running this nonsense story. Will it get past their moderators? No. Make a really silly, reactionary comment wishing ill-fortune on Jos and Pete and, sure, they’ll publish.