Rock Art Brewery wins trademark battle for “Vermonster” over drinks giant, Monster Energy
Well, well, Monster Energy, we learned a little lesson in PR over the past week and a half, didn’t we? Early last week, Monster Energy sent a cease and desist letter to teenie, tiny Rock Art Brewery in Vermont over their beer named Vermonster. Now, they didn’t go after Brooklyn Brewery (which could possibly defend themselves) or any of the other breweries that use the word “monster” in the name. They likely planned to work their way up, setting precedents along the way if it led to court. Well, the little brewery, its fans and the craft beer industry, unleashed a firestorm of battles via e-mail, websites, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Yesterday—a little over ten days later—the drinks giant bowed out, acknowledging a loss of sales and damaged reputation. Woot! Did you help us? Want to show your support? Buy Rock Art Brewery “Vermonster” t-shirt here. Power to the people (and social media)!
Fresh hop season!
I’ll make a confession. I’m not an Oktoberfest fan. At all. I sampled the few from Germany that we can actually get, along with a bunch of domestic craft and there was only one in the entire bunch that did anything for me. It’s not that the beer is/was bad, it’s just not my style. But one thing keeps me going through those short four weeks or so: Fresh hop season. I LOVE the hop harvest. Literally, I get giddy with excitement because nothing beats sticking your nose in a glass of subtle fresh-hop ale. But again, it’s short, so get them while you can: Founder’s Harvest, Sierra Nevada Estate Harvest, Sierra Nevada Wet-Hop Harvest, Left Hand Warrior Wet-hop, and Weyerbacher Harvest. Great Divide Fresh Hop and Sweetwater’s Wet Dream are on their way soon!
The FTC is about to put the smackdown on beer bloggers who accept beer from breweries
In other blow to blogging, after the recent affiliate issues, the FTC is going to make beer writers/reviewers disclose if they received said beer from a brewery. Beervana has a good quote: “…It ghettoizes blogs–who must make this disclosure–but leaves the mainstream press alone.” I would expect any decent blogger to let me know where the beer came from, but breweries send releases to publications all the time for review. Is there really a difference? There are many beer bloggers who also write for said magazines, so we expect this is going to be a murky issue at best. For the record, we never endorse in full review form on our blog. It’s inappropriate. It’s endorsement enough that we hand-select and stock a particular beer (if we can get it).
Boston Beer Co. and Weihenstephan to collaborate on “new beer style”
I’m probably the only person on Earth completely underwhelmed by this, but Boston Beer Co. (a.k.a. Samuel Adams) and the world’s oldest brewery, Weihenstephan of Germany, are collaborating to brew a “new beer style.” I don’t even know what that means. Reuters has the statement: “Dr. Josef Schradler, managing director of Germany’s Weihenstephan Brewery, and Jim Koch, brewer and founderof Samuel Adams, announced their partnership and plans to unveil a new style of collaboratively brewed beer next spring.” There was a big PR hoo-hah, photo-op etc., yesterday, but why all the fuss? Breweries have been collaborating for years now. I like Boston Beer Co. and Samuel Adams: They have the funding to put craft beer in front of people. Jim Koch has done amazing things for craft beer. But all this fuss over something that’s been done before (way, way before) leaves me feeling stupified. I also think this quote is contradictory: “While keeping an eye on tradition, the Samuel Adams brewers continue to innovate and explore boundary-pushing beer styles and brewing techniques.” Utopias is hardly tradition. So, what is this marriage of Reinheitsgebot and “extreme beer” going to produce? Here’s the description: “The champagne-like beer will weigh in at more than 10 percent alcohol by volume, yet remain very dry and crisp, shattering the preconceived notions of what can be done following the Reinheitsgebot Law.” Huh.
This is just a great blog I picked-up from someone on Twitter today. It’s creepy. And I love it!