Drake's Brewing Company Plays the Name Game

Drake’s Head Brewer, John Gillooly

San Leandro’s Drake’s Brewing Company has become synonymous with the Bay Area’s burgeoning craft beer scene. With their headquarters located in the old Caterpillar production facilities (behind a Walmart), they have been bottling and pouring crowd-pleasing beers since now-owner John Martin took over the brewery. Opening Drake’s Dealership in Berkeley only added to their brew cred, and with their brand-new The Barn opening in Sacramento, they are now poised to take flight and soar (pun intended).

Along the way, they’ve introduced some memorable names to go along with their quafs. We asked head brewer John Gillooly to give us some background on Drake’s Name Game.

1500 (American Pale Ale): Named because this was the fifteen-hundredth batch of beer brewed at Drake’s.

The Void (Imperial Stout): The Void is a high ABV, barrel-aged Imperial Stout. We named it “the Void,” as it is extremely black and very strong.


War Pigeon (Double IPA): Just a cool name that came up at a brain-storming session.

Denogginizer (Double IPA): The story here is that this was a batch of double IPA that was being dry-hopped (hops added to the fermenter for extra aroma). When the cap was removed, it blew off the tank because the tank was still under pressure and nearly took someone’s head off — or “denogginizesed” them.


Foraging Raccoon (IPA): This is a San Diego-style IPA. The main San Diego style IPA is Ballast Point’s Sculpin. A sculpin is a kind of fish. And, per Wikipedia, foraging raccoons prey on sculpin.


1933 Davis St #177, San Leandro