Thursday, May 17, 2012

They cannot be serious, but they are!!!

Other Hops are Available
Once upon a time there were two bears, there would have been three but one was on holiday due to European Working Time directives. They set up a brewery, they were bruins! (I know its crap and trust me, it doesn't get any better!) . The bruins set up a brewery in the woods and everyone said how good they were. They went from strength to strength, brewing more and more beers and the bruins' beers could be found in all four corners of the Kingdom. They had all sorts of ideas about bruin (sorry brewing), and wanted to use the best ingredients that the world could offer. They bought hops from all over the place, really pushing the envelope of brewing. They started to brew single hopped beers, using interesting and unusual hops that came from places across the sea. They heard that Koala bears had been brewing with a hop called 'Stella', they had to get some and see what they could do. They made a 'Stella' beer, and made it again and again, and even put it in bottles. They used a light blue pump clip and a light blue label for their beer. All was going well, until one day the big bad wolf came across the bruins' 'Stella'

The big bad wolf was a bit dischuffed, in fact he was not happy at all. The wolf, we will call him Bev for the sake of argument, took one look at the bruins' pump clip and took exception to it. He was a brewer too and thought the bruins pump clip was far too close to his advertising for comfort. After all their font on the clip looked just like  the font on his clip. All right, the background was red but that made no difference. The bruins used the name of the hop, as many other brewers have also done, with no intention of upsetting Bev. In fact, how could a name of a  hop be confused with a trade mark ? Surely it was in the public domain. Even Bev's beer, sorry lager, tasted nothing at all like the bruins beer. It had been made by a different process, tasted totally different, and even looked different. It was served in a different glass, poured in a different way. Surely no one could confuse the two?  But Bev and his mates have been making their beer for years, and did not want the bruins muscling in on their territory. They asked the bruins to change their beer, or at least their point of sale. Change the name, change the font on the pump clip. After all, they were using Bev's trade mark, or so he said. 

I rarely get political on 'A Swift One' but this seems a case of a massive world wide industry throwing their weight about, and trying to stop a small regional brewer making a living. I know that it is easy to change the pump clip to satisfy Bev, but change the name? It is the name of a hop, not anyone's trademark. It is descriptive, which is more than Bev's lager. The punter can read up on the hop, find out more about the ingredients in his beer. It describes the product at the point of sale. And if someone cannot tell the difference between the bruins' product and Bev's product, then Bev's massive advertising revenue issurely a waste of money. To satisfy Bev, and to to stop him blowing the bruins' house down, no doubt they will have to accede to his requests. It is a shame at the very least, that the big bad wolf has nothing better to do; and a sad indictment that he is not content to let everyone live in peace and live happily ever after.     

4 comments:

Martyn Cornell said...

Look out Stella McCartney, you're next.

Sam said...

Well written Tim, I think we all agree with your sentiment the whole thing is ridiculous! We still love 'Stella' (the hop used so wonderfully by the Mallinsons girls that is!) x Sam

Jibber said...

Something similar happened to Chas Wright at Uley Brewery. He came up with a beer called 'Oil of Uley' which raised a few eyebrows at Elida Gibbs (or whoever it was). However, on the basis that nobody could mistake beer for a face cream, I don't think the matter was pursued.

...mind you, does anyone remember the old Boddingtons 'Cream of Manchester' advert depicting a young lady caressing the tight creamy head of a pint of Boddies into her face?

Anonymous said...

Start a Facebook chain, usually gets em worried.