"Mouth Raper" beer might be the worst name for a product since Ayds Diet Candy (YES THAT WAS A REAL THING)*.
I was at Beermongers about a month ago and saw that Hop Valley had a beer on tap called "Mouth Raper IPA." I had always known that beer as "MR IPA" or "Mr. IPA," but apparently the real name is—according to the bartenders there at Beermongers—Mouth Raper. That's what it says on the keg and that's what it says on the bill of lading (according to said bartenders). I sent Hop Valley a tweet asking them to verify the name, but received no response. In hindsight, I think my tweet was more accusatory instead of inquisitive, but the fact is they never responded.
So my question is as follows: Am I right in thinking this is totally inappropriate and insensitive? Are Oregon craft brewers past the point the where they have to be crass or tasteless when naming their beers?
Here's Oregone's tweet that asked the brewer for clarification.
Well, Alworth poked around on behalf of the tipster and sure enough, the beer appears to be named "Mouth Raper." (AGAIN, JESUS FUCKING CHRIST). Alworth brilliantly summed up why it's kind of shitty to put "rape" in the name of your product:
I think it's pretty clear that the brewery gets how controversial it is, which is why it was so hard to track down in the first place. To answer Oregone's question—yes, it is totally inappropriate and insensitive. Undeniably.* Given that this is a brewery with a beer called Double D Blonde, they probably need to pay special attention to the way they think about and depict women. (And here's a handy rule of thumb: if you would be uncomfortable explaining the name of a beer to your seven-year-old daughter, maybe it's not a good name.)
One brilliant comment on Alworth's post, from someone calling themselves Soggy Coaster (who I shall obviously now marry because of this brilliant and beautiful name), also makes a great point: "Clearly that's a regrettable beer name, especially when women are a huge and largely untapped market for craft beer."
HOWEVER, a Beervana commenter named Jim, who said he is with The Beermongers, (the original bar where the tipster said he first learned of the beer's real name) says nope, this is all total bullshit; sorry. (Emphasis mine below).
I'm not sure which bartender you spoke to, but the info you cited is incorrect. On the bill of lading (we call them invoices in the biz) the beer was referred to, IIRC, by the price tier. For example, 1/2 barrels of a high ABV, one-off beer may be referred to as "HV 1/2 BBL TIER 3" etc.. and I'm also pretty sure the keg was labeled "MR IPA". I did, however, have it on authority from a source at the source that the off-the-grid street name was indeed 'Mouth Raper'. I'm sure the TTB would not allow this, so "MR IPA" it became. Beermongers is not a child-friendly establishment, so we thought it would be fun to run it by the 'secret' name. We would do the same with Barley Brown's WFO IPA... and more people would be upset. It's the name of a beer, let's not all get bent out of shape here.
Rape is a violent crime no doubt. I think you can find a shitload of other beer names (esp IPAs) that refer to murder, assassination, assault, etc. Do you think these are less serious crimes? Are you just overly sensitive to sexual provocation? I think this article is too aggressive for the nature of the issue and it also seems like a pointed attack. Do your research and write a more informed article next time. It would be a more interesting read and seem less bullyish.
WHOA, shit just got real in the beer world. So if I'm reading this correctly, Jim from The Beermongers is basically saying the name sort of is Mouth Raper but no not really because the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) would not allow that name to be used so they just shortened it up. Not sure if that gets the brewer off the hook for wanting that name in the first place, though.
And if I'm reading this part correctly "Beermongers is not a child-friendly establishment, so we thought it would be fun to run it by the 'secret' name." He thought it would be "fun" to run it by the secret rape-y name at the bar? Because they are not "child-friendly?" What about being women-friendly or rape-victim friendly? I honestly don't understand how this is a legitimate defense of using this name to refer to a product, but OK.
No comment yet from Oregon-based brewer Hop Valley on the unfortunate and really fucking gross name, if that is in fact the name they chose. So I can't rightfully condemn their company for making a bad choice for a product name. But the fact remains that there appear to be people in the beer community that think it's A-OK and probably sort of funny to call a beer "Mouth Raper." Because LOL IT RAPES YOUR MOUTH WITH FLAVOR LOL. And anyone that has a problem with that name or using the word "rape" is just being "overly sensitive." That's ridiculous to me, guys. As more and more women get into the craft of brewing, perhaps it's a good enough time as any to seriously consider the message you might be sending, even with something that you think is as meaningless as the name of a beer.
Image via Shutterstock
*YES, Y'ALL, AYDS ARE OLD DIET CANDIES THAT WERE AROUND IN THE 1930S. OK! IT'S JUST A JOKE. THE COMMERCIAL IS FUNNY.