In our column in the brandy-new tattoo edition of Motif, we write about the big doings at the Guild, with the addition of Night Shift and Wash Ashore; and collect some kool brew news from Whalers, Crooked Current, and the Malted Barley.
This just in from Escondido, CA:
Stone Brewing Sues MillerCoors for Deceptive Use of the STONE® Brand
Today Stone Brewing filed suit to defend its iconic STONE® brand against one of the world’s largest beer conglomerates, MillerCoors. Stone, known for being the antithesis to “Big Beer,” has long waved a flag of bold character, individualism and independence. The suit alleges that MillerCoors is trying to rebrand its Colorado Rockies-themed “Keystone” beer as “STONE.” The craft beer pioneer feels that it has no choice but to combat MillerCoors’ aggressive marketing moves, which abandon Keystone’s own heritage by falsely associating with the one true STONE®.
“Keystone’s rebranding is no accident,” said Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing CEO. “MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected. Now its marketing team is making 30-pack boxes stacked high with nothing but the word ‘STONE’ visible. Same for Keystone’s social media, which almost uniformly has dropped the ‘Key.’ We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising. Frankly, MillerCoor should be ashamed.”
The Complaint alleges federal and state causes of action for unfair competition, trademark infringement and related claims. “For two decades our team and our fans together have given depth and meaning to the Stone brand,” expressed Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “Our fans have come to trust us to deliver consistently fresh, high quality beer. They trust that we’ll do so in a way that’s ethical and betters our communities, our planet and the entirety of craft beer. By deliberately creating confusion in the marketplace, MillerCoors is threatening not only our legacy, but the ability for beer drinkers everywhere to make informed purchasing decisions.”
Never one to miss an opportunity to poke fun at Big Beer and its consumers, Koch added with a laugh “We all know Keystone is specifically designed to be as inexpensive, flavorless and watery as possible. We can’t have potential Stone drinkers thinking we make a *shudder* light beer. Or for our fans to think we sold out. MillerCoors needs to stop marketing its stuff using our good name.”
Twice named as the “All-time Top Brewery on Planet Earth” by BeerAdvocate magazine, Stone Brewing continues to gain devotees, solidifying its commitment never to sell out to Big Beer. Meanwhile, according to Nielsen, the beer industry’s Domestic Premium category dipped four percent in 2017, equating to a $12.5 billion loss. Says Greg Koch, “No wonder MillerCoors is trying to misappropriate what it could not otherwise accomplish by itself.”
Stone Brewing is represented in the lawsuit by Noah Hagey, Rebecca Horton and Toby Rowe of San Francisco litigation boutique BraunHagey & Borden LLP.
In order to meet market demand, Night Shift Brewing has partnered with Isle Brewers Guild in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The need to seek resources outside of Night Shift’s original Everett facility became apparent when existing space was officially maximized in early 2017. The company’s leadership has described this new partnership as a “sustainable way to test growth” while they evaluate future opportunities to expand capacity.
For Night Shift’s Head Brewer Joe Mashburn, Isle Brewers Guild (IBG) represents an opportunity to grow and learn in a tried-and-true environment. “IBG is already producing great beers with their other brewing partners, so it was an easy decision to partner with them. They share our passion for quality and consistency, and are committed to helping us produce Night Shift beers at their top-notch facility.”
Night Shift Brewing joins a client list that already includes two members of the Night Shift Distributing portfolio, Great North Aleworks of Portsmouth, NH, and Devil’s Purse Brewing Company of South Dennis, MA. Products produced at the Pawtucket facility will not only be available in Night Shift’s current markets – Massachusetts, Maine, and New York – but also at The Guild in cans and on draft. This will mark the first time Night Shift Brewing’s beer can be purchased in the state of Rhode Island.
“As Night Shift Brewing continues its great growth and popularity, Isle Brewers Guild is excited to partner and help support their production needs,” said Jeremy Duffy, Co-Founder and Partner at Isle Brewers Guild. “The brewers are already working with the Night Shift team, and are excited about the world-class beers that are about to be produced.”
The Night Shift Brewing production team will continue to be extremely hands-on with all recipes and processes, traveling to Rhode Island for brew days, and performing extensive quality control testing on all products entering the market. The first products from this partnership will be hitting shelves and draft lines in February 2018!
ABOUT NIGHT SHIFT BREWING
Night Shift Brewing was founded in 2012 by a trio of friends with a shared passion for homebrewing. Through culinary inspiration and determined innovation, we aim to create memorable beers that offer a wide array of unique, complex flavors.
In our column in the brandy-new edition of Motif, Bucket prez Nate Broomfield talks about why he’s closing the brewery and muses on the beer scene in Rhode Island. There are also details on the latest addition to said scene, Beer On Earth, plus a lightning round of news from Foolproof, Revival, Newport Storm, and Ragged Island.
Bonus content: happify yourself with this Wonderful Video Experience [and read about the Actual Wonderful Experience here]: