beer portmanteaus and other brew news

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 30 05:17:03 UTC 2011

Brewers are an odd bunch--including home brewers, micro-brewers, etc.
They are always bent on punning and linguistic innovation. If you don't
believe me, take a look at some of the brewers publications, such as
American Brewer or Yankee Brew News.

A couple of popular portmanteaus that end up on T-shirts are "Beeriodic
Table" and "Beerobics". Other notable expressions are "Make Beer, Not
War", "BeerWare", "Beer Bitch/Biatch" (it took me a while to recall
Blair Witch, but that's the general idea), "Hop Head" (and the Latinized
version: Humulus lupulus caputus, all on T-shirts). Some are quite a
stretch ("Beerma Sutra"--beer styles in compromising positions ; Beer-d-Liers--light fixtures with beer-bottle
"shades"; Deja, etc.).

But this is not why I wanted to post. We've moved past "micro" to
"nano"--and not just with technology. In the last issue (not current any
more) of Yankee Brew News:

Nano-Nano: Tiny Breweries. By Jane Muehlbauer. Yankee Brew News. Volume
22(5). October/November 2011. p. 1ff
> The term "microbrewery" has become less common since the term "craft
> beer" came into vogue, but there's another size-based bit of jargon
> steadily rising in popularity: "nanobrewery." In the metric system,
> "nano" means one billionth of something. The brewing definition is
> less precise, but a nanobrewery is generally agreed to be a brewery
> producing less than 3-4 barrels (93-124 gallons) of beer at a time.

Nanotechnology has been around since 1984 (at least, that was the year I
met Eric Drexler, a few months before he started the MIT Nanotechnology
Group--and exactly ten years after the term had been coined only to be
repurposed--actually, re-coined--by Drexler). Nanocomputers are actually
a closer parallel to nano-breweries, as the idea was to follow
microcomputers with nanocomputers (OED cites a SciAm article from 1977
for nanocomputer 1.). Only later was the term used to line up
nanocomputing with nanotechnology. (I wrote a paper on nanocomputing and
nanocomputers in 2000, but "nanocomputing" is not in OED, although it is
a natural co-derivative with nanocomputer 2.).


The American Dialect Society -

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