What’s in a name? Motel Beer

Motel was born on January 21, 2017 at Lager Lager, Pflügerstr 68 in Berlin. It was an uneventful birth and the proud parents were surrounded by many friends who helped welcome Motel into the world. Instead of cigars, there was grilled cheese. When it was all over and everyone had gone home, Motel and Motel’s proud new parents slept like babies.

Naming a child, like any parent will tell you, is no easy job. Some go the route of choosing one name for the baby during pregnancy, then launching the official name once the baby arrives. For example, someone may call their pregnancy “Project Steve” but then name their kid “Arnold” when he finally shows up. Sometimes though, the placeholder name that that the parents plan to change once the baby arrives, becomes too established and they just go with it. That’s incidentally why there are so many Steves in the world.

Motel was different. We were those kind of parents who went through countless days and nights writing down ideas, questions, concerns and potentially bad nicknames. Like any good parent, we kept this all secret so noe one would say “that’s an… interesting name.” Now that we have our Motel, we can’t imagine it any other way.

There were a few things that were important for us. First, the name had to work in many languages. Something like “Worcestershire Ebullitionary and Libationarium”  is not easy to say in any language, never mind in English. “Unabhängige Brauwirtschaftszentrum zur Eichenblättersammlungsecke” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue either.

Second, the name had to be evocative. “Nostalgic Many Delicious Beer Company” worked pretty well, as did “Wehmutige Leckerdings Brauerei,” but neither of those really fit the multilingual requirements.

Third, we don’t have our own brewery at the moment. We thought it’d be great if the name somehow indicated that as well. “No-Brewery Brewery” was a little too on-the-nose, while “Der Wanderpfeifengans” was great but didn’t mention the lack of brewery thing so much.

We were keen on the association with freedom, vacation, this kind of mid-century Americana feeling as well as the kind of shady depiction of motels in films like Psycho, Fargo or Twin Peaks, or in TV shows like Psycho, Fargo, or Twin Peaks.

That’s how we chose Motel. It works in every language, (except in some Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries there’s apparently an association with  extramarital encounters), it’s evocative and it addresses the fact that we don’t have our home brewery (yet), and that we rent breweries when we need them, just like how you rent a bed in a Motel.