This is a great example of a case where a little communication goes a long way. HammerHeart Brewing planned on producing a beer called Black Cascade. As luck would have it, a Colorado brewery, TRVE Brewing already has a beer on the market with said name. Long story short, Austin from HammerHeart humbly reached out to TRVE and now there are two Black Cascades available for your imbibing pleasures.
The end result of our discussion, as I mentioned before, is a handshake agreement that we’ll both continue brewing our respective Black Cascades, and that no harm will come of that. Our collective stance is that this industry is being infected with litigation. Why a bunch of breweries claiming to be humble, artisinal, community-oriented, small batch, blabbity blah need to sue each other is a mystery to both our breweries, but we’re not going to be a goddamned part of it.
We (NorthGate) had the exact same thing happen with our “Bliss”. Good on you, Hammerheart.
This is great that the two breweries can come to an agreement. I guarantee if they were in the same market this would not be the case. My guess is if Hammerheart were to want to use a similar name to a MN brewery, they would be smart enough not to do it if they didn’t receive permission. However, some MN (and other neighboring states) breweries aren’t smart enough to realize that they are infringing on someone else’s name and they think they can get away with it. Being a small business owner is tough and businesses need to protect themselves. Sometimes litigation is necessary. If they wanted to have a beer called “feroucious” they would be in trouble, and for good reason. It’s simply too close to “furious”. And I bet Hammerheart wouldn’t be too keen on someone in the MN market calling their beer Black Cascade.
Nice to see several breweries settling things like reasonable people do without resorting to “protecting themselves”. This litigation thing has gotten ridiculous, and not only for potential competitors in close markets. I really need to go try some Hammerheart.
C’mon, it’s 100% reasonable to protect your business. Every business does it, including all of your beloved craft beer companies in Minnesota. And for the ones who haven’t, they will. Give it time. Business is business and it’s high time people realize this. I simply don’t understand why people consider a cease and desist or other “litigation” as a bad thing. It’s completely normal.
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