Cover Story Notebook: What’s in a Name?

It can take a while to come up with a name for your brewery. From there, a name can bring to life the branding of the products that lie ahead, what your company will be all about with its story and style.

Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Hi-Wire Brewing was founded by Adam Charnack and Chris Frosaker. Both came from different worlds before beer. Charnack was helping develop affordable housing while Frosaker was a pharmacist. The duo spoke with Brewer in early March for the May/June cover story that will be released in print and online soon.

Hi-Wire has a circus theme. Many of the beer brands have nods toward that (Strongman Coffee Milk Stout for starters) while the logo shows someone balancing, of course, on a hi-wire.

“Out of five top ideas, like, three of them were circus-related,” Charnack said with a laugh. “I don’t even know how that happened.

“There were some ideas where we tried to also speak to the region, natural beauty, and this and that. I can’t remember all the names we came up with but the wild card was Old Man Brewing Company. We really wanted to make a Get Off My Lawn Lager. We never really went too serious on that one.”

The notion of being fun and light-hearted was key.

“It’s who we are,” he said. “It’s the brand we want to be. Some people are very serious. Some people make really crazy things. We also make really fun experimental beers.

“But at the end of the day, we’re meant to make beers that you want to buy every day. And smile.”

So why the circus theme that led to Hi-Wire?

“Asheville is a crazy place. People are different and eccentric,” Charnack said. “They are themselves — they’re characters — and we’d love that. We want to tell that story. And Crazy-Ass-Place Brewing Company didn’t have a good ring to it.

“Honestly, we just kind of sat around and talked about different ideas and the circus theme we always felt did a good job of telling that story. The circus is fun. It’s different and unique.”

The Hi-Wire cover story will be in the May/June 2020 issue of Brewer, out soon.

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