Music seems to be one of the most common forms of inspiration when it comes to naming beers. Lagunitas did a whole series of beers after the late Frank Zappa; Dogfish Head collaborated with legendary music label, Sony, to create a series of beers named after classic albums from various legends; and Pennsylvania brewery, Voodoo, pays homage to rock icons Primus with such beers as Wynona’s Big Brown Ale. Not to be left out is Allentown/Bethlehem brewpub, Fegley’s Brew Works.
Wanting to put a new twist on their classic saison-style ale, “Monkey Wrench Saison,” owner Mike Fegley, and brewmaster Beau Baden, decided to add some raspberries to the recipe; however, they wanted to keep the theme of the name. With ‘monkey’ being the key part of the name and logo, Baden and Fegley looked to the world of music for inspiration. They are both fans of the great John Prine, and his track from twenty-five years ago, “Space Monkey,” seemed to be the perfect fit for the name of the beer. The song itself was based off an article Prine read about an incident in which the Russians forgot one of their astronauts in space for a few days.
After the beer was released, Baden and Fegley reached out to Prine prior to an upcoming show in Reading, PA and were able to present him with a few bottles on stage. During the show, it all paid off for them as Prine mentioned the beer and how he needed to relearn the song just so he could perform in its honor. Not bad for a little brewpub in Allentown, PA.