What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name?


Andrea Friesner, admin manager

If you’ve ever asked our owner and head-brewer, Dick, the question: why Crucible? – and he began to spew out some nonsense about wanting to be a playwright in high school and is a “big Arthur Miller fan,” you, dear customer, have been lied to. 

Webster’s dictionary defines a crucible as, “a vessel of a very refractory material used for melting and calcining a substance that requires a high degree of heat.” It is within this definition that our brewery, Crucible, gets its name. Dick explains, “the crucible being a vessel that is designed to put materials into, heat them, then come out with something different is, in a nutshell, the essence of beer production.”

In addition to providing perfect pouring imagery in our logo, the name Crucible lends itself to many other naming conventions throughout the brewery. Take for instance the sub names for our two locations. The Everett location – our first – is named the Foundry. Dual-purpose in its name as “founded” means to establish or originate, a foundry is also a workshop or factory for casting metal.

Our second location in Woodinville is named the Forge. While the verb of the forge is to make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and beating or hammering it, the noun also fits as it is defined as a blacksmith’s workshop, a factory containing a furnace for refining metal, or a furnace or hearth for melting or refining metal.

In addition to the buildings, several of our beer names keep with the theme. Let’s begin with our very first IPA – Wootz. Wootz is a type of steel, primarily used as crucible steel. Remember our Damascus Dubbel? Damascus was forged steel of sword blades smithed from blocks of Wootz steel. (The swords placed on the walls throughout the brewery are starting to make sense, eh?) Our Bulat Brown is named for a type of Russian steel alloy used in medieval times. Any guesses what an Arc Furnace, our Pilsner is named after? If you said a steel-making furnace, you are catching on! We didn’t leave out our double IPA, Twice Tempered. Twice-tempering is a process whereby steel is heated and then cooled twice in succession, increasing the steel’s overall strength. 

While many industries make use of steel, perhaps one of the oldest is firearms manufacturers. Crucible Brewing has no shortage of gun-related beer names. Our most popular, the Flintlock IPA, is a general term for any firearm that uses a flint striking ignition mechanism. Our blood orange hefeweizen, Smith & Weizen should come as no surprise it’s a play on Smith & Wesson – one of America’s longest-standing firearm brands. Our Hammer Forged Stout pays homage to hammer forging – perhaps the most efficient method for making rifled gun barrels. Lastly, our cabernet barrel-aged blueberry sour, Niter Bluing, is named for the gunmetal finishing process.

Alright, so we’ve covered steel and guns. What’s missing? Ah yes – metal. Not just the genre of music you’ll hear pumping through our speakers in the taproom, metal plays a big part in Crucible Brewing. Our rotating IPA series, Metallurgy, is defined as a process that is used for the extraction of metals in their pure form. This leads us to one of our latest releases, Steel Cut Sorcery. In short, steel-cut describes the process of whole oats that have been chopped into much smaller pieces by way of steel blades. OG Crucible fans will remember our Steel Cut OPA (oatmeal pale ale) as a regular on the menu board, but this newest version has taken the original recipe and upgraded it with the Pink Boots hop blend. 

***SNEAK PEEK – check out our next 2 blogs to learn more about the Pink Boots Society and also how witchcraft plays a large part in brewing history (hence, Sorcery!).***

Lastly, our newest release does not disappoint in staying true to our naming culture. We are excited to present to you our Hell Forge Helles Lager. Previously known as Goto Helles, this light, crisp, and clean German lager is getting a makeover. It probably comes as no surprise that our owners Dick and Shawn are video game enthusiasts. Enter the nod to Diablo and World of Warcraft. As a non-gamer (don’t @ me), I’ll refrain from listing all the nuances in this name, but I’m sure more than a few of you will appreciate the subtle nod. C’mon over to Crucible and taste the fireworks!