Judging by the number of people that have brought this to my attention, I guess it’s time to say something. So here goes.
Recently, SweetWater Brewing Company (ATL) sent and cease & desist letter to another quite popular brewery over the use of “420”. SweetWater is protecting the trademark of their #1 selling beer. Honestly, that happens all the time (in brewing and out). I recently met someone at a bar that spends their days sending the same kind of letter for The Walking Dead tv show. It has become a part of daily life for some.
Why are we talking about this today? Simple. After receiving the C&D, the brewer took to Twitter and voiced his reactions to the legal document. Now everyone knows about it. Within minutes of his Tweets, I was getting text messages an emails. Primarily because I live in Atlanta and am quite close with SweetWater. This type of stuff is drama and people thrive off of it. (Hell, it means more site traffic for Beer Street Journal too.) Various beer websites have picked up the story all reporting on these individual’s thoughts.
This is the thing. Cease and Desist letters happen ALL THE TIME in the brewing industry. More breweries means more beers, more beer names, and someone is going to get too close to another name. (Recently, Magic Hat & West Sixth). Sometimes it is interesting to see the drama unfold, logos change, etc. But this is the thing – do we go over this every time? Perhaps I’m biased. Perhaps when brewers fight publicly (again Magic Hat and West Sixth) we have to mention it.
So, here is the official mention on Beer Street Journal. Trying to leave the bias behind and let the suits sort it out. Personally, the suns up. Time for a beer.