Naming A Brewery

Every brewery has a different story of how their name came to be. Some folks have a more straightforward time naming a brewery than others. Silver Branch Brewing Company was the result a focused strategy for naming a brewery. We received a cease and desist letter for our original name, Parallel World Brewing Company, which led us to examine the deeper meaning behind the name. The silver lining here is that we developed a brewery name that we like quite a bit more than our original brewery name. Compared to Parallel World, Silver Branch is easier to say, easier to spell, has several beautiful hidden meanings and maintains a straightforward connection to our immediate community.

Naming A BreweryOne of the most important benchmarks we used to determine a name that would work well for us was the idea of having to say it repeatedly. The truth is when you’re operating a small business that relies heavily on brand you end up self-promoting 24:7:365. If you don’t want to say the name at every hour of every day you may want to consider another one. Silver Branch is easy to say and easy to spell, we feel pretty good about that part.

The first element of our name, Silver, speaks to the community where we live and where our brewery is located. This is increasingly important in a craft beer market that heavily favors ‘the local option’. As direct sales to patrons become an increasingly important part of the new brewery business model it seems prudent to speak to your neighbors. For a long time, I thought this local element could easily be “over-done” or was somehow boring. I was wrong. Time and time again I see examples of breweries with very localized names that attain remarkable success, sometimes even reaching national sales distribution. I have a feeling it’s because they took care of their home base first and foremost. I like to think we get some bonus points because Silver conveys a classy but down-to-earth identity, it ain’t gold or diamonds, just some very fine Silver.

The second element of our name, Branch, speaks to the Old English and German custom of breweries hanging a branch or broom outside the establishment to advertise the availability of beer. This custom was common when brewing beer was a household endeavor, or cottage industry, and the economy was a little less formal. Sort of like an archaic open sign. We like to think this is our way of outwardly communicating to our patrons that we want you to come inside and drink a beer with us. I’ve joked with Christian several times that we’re going to get a huge branch to hang outside our front door. What’s often said in jest is meant in truth so don’t be surprised when you roll up to our brewery and see a giant branch out front. It just so happens that Branch is a common name for some local rivers, roadways and through ways. This is our way of subtly doubling down on the local ties because if we do nothing else, serving our home base is the most important thing we can do as a brewery.

The third element of our name, Brewing, is often overlooked but means quite a bit to us. There is a subtle difference between brewing, beer company, artisan ales, etc. We see ourselves as a brewing company because we don’t intend to just make and serve beer. We’ll have excellent coffee, house-made soda and a killer cocktail program. We identify as a beverage company that specializes in making excellent beverages paired with memorable cultural experiences. Brewing, in the truest sense of the word, conveys what we intend to do. We’ll seek to produce beverages of all kinds. Beer is our first love, and our primary focus, but there will always be room in our hearts and on our menus for a wide range of flavorful beverages.

So now that you know how the three elements of our name come together you may be asking still, “but what does it all mean?” The truth is, Silver Branch Brewing Company will come to mean something of its own entirely. Establishing a name is not a one-way directional process but rather a reflection of the individuals that will work for us, the patrons that will come and cheers with us and everything in-between. Today, I’ve given you “the meaning” behind Silver Branch Brewing Company. In ten years from now, I assure you, Silver Branch Brewing Company will mean many more things than what I’ve outlined today. If you’re hoping to start a brewery or toying with the idea of a name feel free to drop us a line and let us know the struggles you’ve come across, the lucky strikes you’ve found along the way or the questions you’ve come up with in the process. Just remember, if you’re going to get into business find yourself a great trademark lawyer.