As of last week, a local brewery has been proclaiming, “You get a beer! You get a beer!”
It’s not exactly a brand new Pontiac G6, but the pale ale on tap at St. Elmo Brewing might still get people excited because of its famous name.
The Oprah Pale Ale is a 5.1 percent hoppy pale ale with a tangerine burst of hops and a dry, crisp finish. Naming the beer Oprah hadn’t exactly been the plan for co-owner and head brewer Bryan Winslow when he made it — he hadn’t even intended to make it a pale ale.
But once he tried it, he realized how palatable the hazy, copper-colored beer was and wanted a name that would reflect its appeal.
“Everyone’s going to like this. It’s a great beer. So what to call it so everybody will want to order it? Everybody likes Oprah. Let’s call it that,” he said, noting that he consulted with St. Elmo staff about the name and got unanimous support for it.
It’s not the first time the small South Austin spot has christened its beers after famous folks and pop culture references. One of its original beers is the Slater American IPA, after surfer Kelly Slater. Last summer, the Darrell Burnt-Orange IPA hit the tap wall as an homage to the late Texas football legend Darrell K. Royal, the winningest coach in UT history.
And a couple months later arrived the McLovin Double IPA, followed by the McCaffe Double Coffee IPA.
On tap now with Oprah is the Winona Rye Imperial Pale Lager, described on the beer menu with the words “stolen, honey, things.”
You get the picture.
Since opening in late 2016, St. Elmo’s owners, Winslow and Tim Bullock, have been giving their beers people name — an intentional decision that highlights that “beer has a lot of personality,” Winslow said at the time. “Giving the beers those names “is a really fun way to talk about the beer, about the beer being sassy or stubborn or aggressive or German. It just seemed to fit with the space.”
So far, the brewery hasn’t gotten any cease-or-desist letters for its use of copyrighted names like McCaffe, but if one did come, Winslow said they’d have no problem changing the name. Most of them are only available at the brewery.
Oh, and the Oprah beer? You have to pay for it because he and Bullock aren’t exactly billionaire talk show hosts just giving away people fancy beers. But Winslow did say everyone would like it.
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- Manor Road is getting its own brewery with the spring opening of Oddwood Ales
- Get to know Austin’s breweries, distilleries and more in the Austin360 Boozery Guide