So, at Labor of Love, I had some people ask about the brewery name and my beer names. The brewery name, Steel Rain, comes from the artillery. Artillery rounds are made of steel, and they rain down on the enemy. Pretty straight forward. The beer names can be more obscure, I admit.
The first beer I named was my double IPA, which I called Charge 8 Imperial IPA. At the time, I was assigned as Platoon Leader/Fire Direction Officer for a M119A2 battery. The M119A2 is a 105mm howitzer, and the max charge for the weapon system is normally called charge 7 (there are seven increments). Charge 8 can be used, but rarely is, to boost the max range from ~11.5km to ~13.7km.
Here are some of the other beers and the stories behind the names:
Willy Pete Wheat – a German-style hefeweizen, named after the nickname for white phosphorous, which is used in artillery rounds for smoke screens now, but used to be an anti-personnel weapon.
Enzo’s English Ale – my only non-artillery named beer, this is an English Pale Ale named after our dog, Enzo, who is an English Springer Spaniel
D30 Russian Imperial Stout – a RIS named after a still in wide use Russian made 122mm howitzer. Some friends on mine used them while training the Afghan army a few years ago, named in their honor.
Killer Junior IPA – Killer Junior is a direct fire (as opposed to normal indirect fire) technique where an HE round is fitted with a time fuze and the fuze is set to function over a target very close to the gun’s position. Killer Junior referred to the technique when used by 105mm and 155mm howitzers. Killer Senior was used with 203mm howitzers. The name comes from the call sign of the battery that developed the technique during the Vietnam War.
Fiddler’s Green Farmhouse Ale – a Belgian-style saison, the name comes from the legendary Valhalla where artillerymen go when they die. “Halfway down the trail to hell in a shady meadow green, Are the souls of all dead Redlegs camped near a good old-time canteen, And this eternal resting place is known as Fiddler's Green.”
Blockhouse Blonde Ale – every artilleryman knows the namesake of this beer, Blockhouse Signal Mountain, which sits on top of the most prominent point in the impact area at Fort Sill.
Canon de 12 – a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, also called a Belgian Quad. This beer is named after a WWII Belgian medium field gun, the Canon de 12 cm L mle 1931
Redleg Red Lager – A Vienna-style lager with a red tint. Redlegs are artillerymen. In the Civil War, Union artillerymen wore red stripes down the sides of their blue uniform pants, and were called Redlegs. The name endures today.
Thus ends today’s lesson on beer and artillery.