Hop to it: A Beer by Any Other Name

August 21, 2015

In late April, Molotov Cocktail announced it was brewing a beer. In mid-May, we brewed that beer (a Russian Imperial Stout), and in June we asked for your help to name that beer.

Names came fast and furious, because the winner ultimately gets a chance to taste our homebrew. Some were great, others were Bond-themed, and some were … not so great. In the end however, a clear favorite emerged — “Hanslav’s Stevedore Stout.”

Before we get to our new name’s explanation, a little background on our winner, Will DeFeo:

Will DeFeo recently graduated from Mercyhurst University’s Tom Ridge School for Intelligence Studies and Information Science with a minor in public health. While there, he spent many an evening in Erie’s bars with fellow history buffs discussing international relations, national security, and the amazing ideas and policies that shape them (despite winters akin to those that sent Napoleon packing). An Eagle Scout, Will proudly displays his WOTR bumper sticker on his Jeep and currently works at his hometown newspaper in hopes of beginning his career — wherever it may take him.

As for Hanslav’s Stevedore Stout, here’s Will’s original submission that swayed so much of our readership:

“The name is a portmanteau of “Hanseatic” and “Slavic,” referring to the trading union that dominated Baltic trade and a primary ethnic group of the region. Stevedores are dockworkers, specifically responsible for loading and unloading cargo. Though headquartered in Germany, the Hanseatic League connected London to St. Petersburg and many key ports in between. Suitably, I imagine this union shipped some Russian Imperial Stout during its later years, and the workers themselves must have enjoyed some after their shifts. For me, that image best captures a good beer: sipping them down with co-workers after a long day at work.”

Looking forward to sharing a beer with you, Will. In the meantime, readers, keep your eyes peeled for updates related to the beer. We plan to bottle in mid-fall.



Alex Hecht is editor of Molotov Cocktail. He works as a Security Analyst in Washington, DC. Before working for the man, he managed the Gibson, a cocktail bar in DC’s U Street corridor. Alex’s life is admittedly mellower now, but his liver probably thanks him for that.


Photo credit: Paul Townsend