How the hell did we get to this point?
It was just last September that the Brewers Association (the trade group that represents America's craft brewers) proudly announced that the USA was home to over 4,000 breweries. The all-time high was 4,131, and it took just another 10 months to crush that goal and hit our current count of over 4,600.
It's funny to look back at the plain old names for beers back when there was barely any competition on the craft scene. Sierra Nevada had a Pale Ale, a Porter, and a Stout. Anchor Brewing, another West Coast OG, had a Porter, a Brown, and an IPA. Yuengling had its Lager. Those are not just the styles of the beer -- those are also the boring names, and they're all so boring I fell asleep as I was typing them. At this point, it's unthinkable that you'd name any of your flagship beers something that plain. Think of popular modern-day beer series -- Great Divide's Yeti, Ballast Point's Sculpin -- they're memorable as all get-out.
In today's market, you have to stand out with whatever you have at your disposal.