Archive for the ‘In the news’ Category

Innovation and Bell’s Brewery, an update

Posted Mar 12, 2015 in Beer, Breweries, In the news, People

bells truck.A lot went down yesterday in the news and social media regarding the (very suddenly public) trademark dispute between Sylva, NC’s Innovation Brewing and Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery. Local stories were featured in Asheville Citizen-Times and Mountain XPress. As of now (and in less than a 36-hour news cycle), there are all-out calls for boycott of the Bell’s Brand, a Change.org petition for Bell’s to drop the dispute, and a GoFundMe for Innovation Brewing’s legal fees. Last evening, we received an email forwarded from Bell’s Brewery Vice President, Laura Bell, regarding the situation (which is now posted to Bell’s Brewery Facebook Page). This helps clarify some information, such as just how long negotiations have been going on, but also confuses some earlier reports. Maybe more information will be made available, then again, maybe not. Whatever the outcome, this doesn’t look like it’s going to be an easy situation for anyone involved.

To our Bell’s customers and the passionate craft beer community,

We want to clear up a few things regarding our federal trademark dispute with Innovation Brewing.

1. We have not, and are not asking them to change their name or their logo. There is no lawsuit. We are not suing them. We have not asked them for money. We have not asked them to stop selling their beer. We are asking them to withdraw their federal trademark application.

2. Our concern is with their United States trademark application and potential impact on our brand, which we have spent 30 years building.

3. I personally reached out to Innovation Brewing to try to settle this matter in February, 2014 and attempted to talk about this brewer-to-brewer instead of involving lawyers. Our efforts were rebuffed and Innovation Brewing chose to pursue this in the legal system.

4. Over the last year, we have offered co-existence agreements and have offered to pay for their legal fees. We tried to find solutions that would work for both of us. Their response was to ask for an exorbitant amount of money and we did not feel that was a collaborative solution.

5. All offers that we proposed were rejected and after more than a year of discussion regrettably, this matter has moved to the federal trademark office.

We have the utmost respect for Innovation Brewing and we are going to keep any comments we have regarding this matter positive, honest, and collaborative. We want them to continue to brew and do the good work they’re doing under their own name.

We hope to resolve this as swiftly as the system will allow.

The passion that we have seen over the past few days is a testament to how much the beer industry means to those who support it and why we are proud to be a part of it. We always appreciate further feedback and invite everyone to continue to share their concerns with us directly: http://bellsbeer.com/contact/

Sincerely,

Laura S. Bell
Vice President
Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

On Innovation Brewery’s part, they posted the following to their Facebook page:

“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support we have been receiving during all this. We are hopeful that the issue can be resolved and we can all go back to focusing on making great beer. Thank you to the craft beer community.”

UPDATE #2 from Innovation Brewing on 3/12:

To Our Wonderful Craft Beer Community:

We felt it was important to get our story out to the media because this is an important matter for the craft beer industry. We did not intend (nor do we want to) have a social media battle with Bell’s, but because of allegations posted on Bell’s Brewery’s Facebook page we now have to defend ourselves. Settlement discussions are protected communications that are not to be disclosed publicly, so out of respect to Bell’s Brewery’s rights we would never have disclosed them. Furthermore, Mr. Bell pointedly stated that he would not “play this out on social media” – and so we again respected his wishes by keeping the details to ourselves. Now, it appears they changed their mind.

We are planning to deliver a full statement of the facts and events that have brought us to this point. Until then, we feel it necessary to respond to Ms. Bell’s enumerated allegations. Thank you for continuing to support and believe in us. You keep us going through this difficult time.

1. Yes, this is a TM proceeding and not a lawsuit, although it is like a lawsuit, requiring legal representation, being personally deposed, and including a trial. They are asking us to withdraw our federal trademark application for our brand name.
2. We do not believe that any human on earth would confuse Innovation Brewing with Bell’s Brewery, despite their slogans.
3. Laura Bell did contact me at 7:00 pm the night before their opposition filing was due. They had already hired attorneys to represent them and file for their extension to file the opposition. We had not hired an attorney. After she advised us that she would “let us” keep using the name in NC only, and never expand beyond it, she said that we had until the next day at 5:00 PM to respond. That is 22 hours to find an attorney and decide on the future of our business. That was the one and only attempt Ms. Bell made to contact me. From there their attorneys took over.
4. Not a single co-existence agreement has ever been presented to us by Bell’s. In fact it was we who submitted a written co-existence agreement – subsequently declined by Bell’s. The only monetary compensation they have ever offered us was $2,500 which was to cover the inconvenience of being forced to abandon our trademark and go register a different one. The “legal fees”, as Ms. Bell puts it, brought on by their legal action against us, may exceed $50,000. We did not feel like being bought off.
5. This matter was before the TM office one day after she began talking to us. No offer has ever been presented to us other than the offer to limit our business to NC or take $2,500 to start over and build a new brand. We believe in our business, so those are not really offers at all.
6. In regards to Laura Bell stating “we hope to resolve this as swiftly as the system will allow” we suggested the accelerated trademark opposition process that would have brought this to a legal end much sooner and with far less expense, but Bell’s denied it.

You great people don’t deserve to be peppered with sides of the story. So we will give you a full account of the facts so you can decide for yourself. We are good people and we know we have your support. Stay tuned.

-Chip and Nicole

2015 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference to be held in Asheville, July 17-19

Posted Mar 06, 2015 in Beer, Breweries, Coming Soon, Coolness, Events, In the news, People, Tech

BBC15-Conf-Badge1Did you know the 2015 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference will take place July 17-19 in Asheville, North Carolina? How exciting for our little mountain beer city. Over that weekend, look for the presence of both industry and citizen beer bloggers as well as many major players in the beer community, both local and national. If you have a local beer blog—or are considering starting one (even within your existing blog platform)—now is the time to get started! Here is what the BBC has to say about this year’s conference in Asheville:

“We are extremely pleased to bring the 2015 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference to Asheville, North Carolina, on July 17-19.  Asheville is one of the greatest beer towns in the world, with over two dozen breweries in the town of less than 90,000 citizens. According to the NC Beer Guys blog, the state of North Carolina now has 111 breweries.

But it is more than just numbers that make Asheville and North Carolina high on a beer writer’s list of places to visit. The town itself is a fun small town with lots to do and the brewers are leading the nation in the beer revolution.

In addition to the 20+ years of brewing experience in the city, recent additions include large breweries established by long-time BBC supporters Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium. We want to especially thank Oskar Blues and Sierra Nevada for stepping up to support the conference. We will be visiting Oskar Blues’ new brewery for an afternoon Taste the Taps event and Sierra Nevada’s new brewery for a dinner, tour, and tasting.”

The weekend agenda is being updated as panels, workshops, and events are scheduled. You can find that here. Local sponsors include the NC Brewers Guild, the Asheville Brewers Alliance, and ExploreAsheville, Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues, among others. The session kicks-off with Julia Herz of the Brewers Association and CraftBeer.com. You’ll have a chance to listen to professionals who will improve your blog writing (WordPress is a sponsor), best social media practices, plus all the social events promoting local breweries. Join us and register here!

Meet Elise Carlson, our new beerlanthropist

Posted Dec 05, 2014 in Coolness, Goings on, In the news, New this week, People

IMG_0040_3Happy Friday! We want to introduce you to our newest beerlanthropist on staff, Elise Carlson.

“I am NC born and raised. Besides beer, my favorite things are traveling, music, yoga, and the outdoors. I went to school at UNC Asheville for sociology and anthropology.  I like making jewelry and crocheting in my spare time.  I work as a bartender at the  Wicked Weed Funkatorium as well at Bruisin’ Ales. I especially love sour and barrel-aged beer, and so it makes me very happy to be surrounded by great beer at both of my workplaces!”

Come say hello to Elise! We’re so happy to have her on board with our team.

Jazz hands! The Bruisin’ Webstore is up!

Posted Nov 25, 2014 in Beer, Breweries, Brewpubs, Cider, Coolness, Goings on, In the news, Merchandise, Miscellany, People, The Beerlanthropy® Project

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We did it! After four months of work, the Bruisin’ Ales Webstore is now live and taking orders online. Our real-time inventory is displayed (except for those items deemed “non-shipping”) with a fully searchable database. The store will be updated weekly with new arrivals, and we’ll be adding more tags along the way to help you find what you’re looking for. Look for merchandise to be thrown into the mix soon, such as our t-shirts and glassware. Happy shopping, everyone!

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Things to know:

  • We ship to most states in the U.S. (detailed list at webstore link above.) For international shipping inquiries, please email us.
  • Locals can now place pick-up orders. Buy/pay online, pick-up later!*
  • Use the drop-down menus for beer brands by Country > State and/or Manufacturer.
  • Use personal search parameters, i.e. Asheville, bourbon, oak, sour, <beer style>, <beer name>, etc.
  • When you set-up a Customer Account online, you’ll automatically become a member of our brand new K-O Club, a customer loyalty program coming in 2015.
  • We ship in increments of (3), (6), and (12) for large format bottles, and increments of (12) for 12oz.
*How does pick-up work? I live in the area and want to order online for pick-up later.
  1. No problem! Just go through the same Shopping process, then select “Pick-up” at checkout. We’ll pack it up and have it waiting for you.
  2. Must show ID at pick-up and ID must match name on credit card used for purchase.
  3. Pick-up orders must be retrieved within 7 days of purchase.

Where do I start?

  1. Click the SHOPPING button to enter the site.

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Thursday Tasting 11/6/14 5-7pm: Quest Brewing Launch

Posted Nov 05, 2014 in Beer, Breweries, Events, Goings on, In the news, New this week, People

We’re pleased to welcome Quest Brewing of Greenville, SC this Thursday in the wee Tasting Room with brewmaster Don Richardson himself. (The very Don for whom Catawba’s King Don Pumpkin is namedqueswtlogo.) Join us in welcoming them to WNC!

Golden Fleece BPA: “This beer is named after Jason and his band of Argonauts who set out on a quest for the fleece in order to place Jason rightfully on the throne of  Thessaly.  Golden Fleece BPA is an easy-drinking, refreshing beer yet has enough character to please the beer connoisseur.  Local malt from Riverbend Malt House is used to add to the flavor complexity.” [4.5% abv]

Smoking Mirror Smoked PorterNamed after the Aztec relic of Tezcatlipoca, This mystic ale is brewed with 6 varieties of malts including a touch of peated malt in order to create a subtle smoke character.  It is delicately hopped with an intense malt backbone. [5.5% abv]

Ellida IPA: “This west coast style IPA is our tribute to Norse and their quests and adventures.  ELLIDA was a legendary magic dragon ship also known as the first ship of the north. This Viking ale is brewed with loads of hops and balanced out with 5 varieties of malts.  Local malt from Riverbend Malthouse is used to add to the flavor complexity.” [6.9% abv]

Kaldi Imperial Coffee Stout: “Kaldi was the Ethiopian goat-herder who discovered the coffee plant, according to popular legend.  This stout is brewed with West End Coffee Company’s freshly-roasted beans and cacao nibs.  The end result is a complex, smooth beer that will sure to intrigue the palette.” [8.0% abv]