Craft brewers rarely miss the opportunity to tap into the zeitgeist for beer inspiration, from Star Wars to Game of Thrones. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the brewing industry deeply, has likewise become a source of creativity for the beer world, with new beers encouraging drinkers to stay home or even just poke fun at our bizarre new normal. (And making light of dark times is not only healthy, but necessary for our collective sanity.) These are our favorite beer names to come out of quarantine. Show your support—and maybe support hospitality workers while you’re at it—and grab a can.
Can’t Spare a Single Square
Proclamation Ale Company in Rhode Island is leaning into pandemic beers with three fresh offerings adorned in equality-inspired can art. Can’t Spare a Single Square is a triple IPA featuring a set of arms juggling five rolls of toilet paper. The brewery has also released Knock It Off and Shut It Down, a duo of IPAs named after the Governor's recently coined catchphrase promoting social distancing.
Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Georgia’s Wild Heaven Beer has been digging into its isolation-inspired beer names since early April when it released a German-style lager and açai pale ale named Don’t Stand So Close to Me and Fauci Spring, respectively. Since then it’s also rolled out Until We Meet Again rye IPA and Tropical Staycation double IPA.
Ale Asylum made headlines for its not-so-subtle jab at the pandemic. FVCK COVID is a pilsner that not only shares a familiar sentiment about the coronavirus, but also wags its finger at toilet paper hoarders on the can. The beer was so popular, the Wisconsin brewery recently released FVCK COVID 2.0, a hazy pale ale.
You Are Not Alone
As many breweries get creative with ways to continue to service customers, some are also giving back to their fellow members of the hospitality industry. Seattle’s Reuben’s Brews released You Are Not Alone, an IPA that benefits restaurant and beverage workers, with 100 percent of profits going to Big Table.
I Miss Loud Tap Rooms
Colorado’s Outer Range Brewing Co. gets straight to the point with the label for this double IPA, which proclaims “I Miss Loud Tap Rooms.” That’s not the only aptly named beer to roll off its canning line recently, with The Future Is Full of Parties IPA also making its debut last month.
Somebody to Lean On
While you maybe should not take this advice literally, Union Craft Brewing’s Somebody to Lean On offers itself up as a metaphorical helping hand during these trying times. The rainbow-colored label adorns a fruity double IPA. All profits from the sale of this beer benefit the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund.
So Just Chill ‘til the Next Episode
If you’re looking for a beer that “pairs perfectly with staying inside, eating pizza, and cuddling with your dog,” enter So Just Chill ‘til the Next Episode, a West Coast-style IPA from Trophy Brewing Co. The Raleigh, North Carolina brewery also recently released the ideal drink to pop open during a virtual happy hour: Virtual Cheers, an easy-drinking lager.
Stay Home/Stay Asheville
Brewers throughout Asheville, North Carolina partnered with River Bend Malt to make Stay Home/Stay Asheville, an IPA benefiting service industry workers who have been affected by COVID-19. With the help of participating breweries—Archetype Brewing, Bhramari Brewing Company, New Belgium, White Labs Brewing Co., DSSOLVR, and Twin Leaf Brewery—the beer raised $12,500 for the New Belgium Bar and Restaurant Relief Fund.
Since most of your socializing is probably happening through a screen, Wisconsin’s Vennture Brew Co. has named a beer after the platform making it all possible. Zoom Beer is a smooth ale brewed with Kveik yeast and Mosaic hops. The brewery is also responsible for Stay at Homies, a New England-style IPA.