Reader: Threats to Strange Brewing are a revolting exercise in bottom-feeding

Categories: Cafe Society

Strange Brewing's founders.
Could there really be any confusion between Strange Brewing Company, a two-year-old microbrewery in Denver, and Strange Brew Beer & Wine Making Supplies, a shop in Marlboro, Massachusetts? That's what the shop's attorneys think, and they recently sent a letter to Strange Brewing warning that "your continued operation of a microbrewery establishment under the name 'Strange Brewing Company' is causing and is likely to continue to cause consumer confusion, deception, damage to my client's good will, brand name and reputation, and constitutes a direct infringement of my client's federal trademark rights." There's more, of course (these lawyers appear to be paid by the word as well as the hour), as Jonathan Shikes reported here yesterday.

Response to the news that the popular microbrewery had been threatened with legal action came quickly.

See also:
- Strange Brewing faces a trademark threat from a Massachusetts homebrew shop
- Strange Brewing opens biergarten, talks about expansion

Says maxplanck0:

Lawyers are loathsome. This is a revolting exercise in bottom feeding and stains the cooperative spirit that exists in the brewing community.

And this from cmorganphotography:

This is absurd, i fully support Strange brewing Company and their amazing beers! It looks to me like this person in Massachusetts is looking to capitalize on a more successful beer venture than he could manage to build in all these years! Classic case of conservative east coast attitudes trying to put a damper on anything good and fun that doesn't make them money.

Have you been to Strange Brewing? Did you actually mean to go to a home-brew shop in Massachusetts instead? Post your thoughts below.

Location Info


Strange Craft Beer Company

1330 Zuni St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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My Voice Nation Help

I'm sick to death of the attitudes reflected in this suit and the whole idea that's displayed below by ABD:  "they are REQUIRED to protect their federal trademark which is impacted here". NO, they are NOT "required" to do this. They CHOSE to find and inflate a source of POTENTIAL conflict which Brian Powers, owner of the Mass. company, admits in his response he did to protect a conflict that WOULD arise when (and if) he opens his own brewery, sometime down the road. Somehow, in this litigious culture of ours, THOUSANDS of people manage to refrain from suing each other over these potential "conflicts". In Powers' own culture, craft beer, there are literally hundreds of beers with the same name - the EXACT same name. There are THREE working breweries called "Epic", none of which is suing either of the other two. Powers doesn't have to protect his brand by singling out ONE small brewery in Denver. Far more of a threat would be the dozen or so breweries with beers called "Strange Brew", NONE of which he is suing. "Protecting your brand" involves MORE - FAR more - than aggressively and douchily pursuing POTENTIAL conflicts over your name. It more importantly involves making damned sure your name is held in high regard, at which Powers has now failed spectacularly. No, legal battles are NOT fought in social media or the court of public opinion...but only an ignorant, oblivious fool craps his own bed by being a public bully and alienating the very community he hopes to sell his products to. Brian Powers has already committed the worst mistake of his professional life...and he's too stubborn and blind to see it. In the words of that fine American, Mr. T:  I pity the fool...


Although I disagree with the actions of Strange Brew, they are required to protect their FEDERAL trademark which is impacted here. Rather than try this case in the public square, this should be left to the courts. AND we should push our legislators to reform trademark & patent laws to reflect a more modern business culture. 

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