How the “Walken Cooler” Became a Beer World Meme

 Behind this door awaits...beer.

Behind this door awaits...beer.

I recently found myself at Pittsburgh’s East End Brewing, drinking a cold IPA and staring deep into Christopher Walken’s frigid, unflinching eyes. His black-and-white headshot was an ominous presence in an otherwise bright taproom, the photograph taped to a stainless steel door.

“That’s our walk-in cooler,” says East End founder Scott Smith, speaking of the refrigerated room typically used for storing beer. Clad with the actor’s likeness, it’s jokingly been branded a “Walken cooler,” a nod to a familiar pun that’s spread across the brewing industry.