Renegade changes the name of Ryeteous IPA after legal threat from Brooklyn's Sixpoint Brewery

Categories: Beer Man

Ryeteous.jpg
Renegade Brewing Facebook page

Ryeteous, the flagship brew of Renegade Brewing Company, will soon be getting a new name. Renegade was served with a cease and desist letter from an attorney representing Sixpoint Brewery out of Brooklyn, New York. Sixpoint produces a beer called Righteous and the company felt that although they don't distribute in Colorado, or anywhere near Colorado, that they should stake their claim on the name Righteous and all sound-alike versions of the name.

Renegade's founder and president Brian O'Connell, proposed that Renegade and Sixpoint make Righteous Ryeteous, a collaboration brew that would be an example of brotherhood in the industry and follow the example set by Avery Brewing and Russian River. Sixpoint made it clear that they were not open to such an idea.

From Renegade president, Brian O'Connell:

We at Renegade are saddened to see the rising number of disputes in the brewing industry. Renegade is proud to be a member of an industry that has a strong collaborative component and we will do our part when possible to preserve it.

Of course a company has a right to protect its trademarks, but we believe that a cease and desist letter should only be used in the case of honest trademark infringement that causes legitimate confusion for the consumer in the market place. When Renegade set out to change the name of Ryeteous, we wanted to make a statement about our perspective on cease and desist letters. Renegade stands for doing things differently, plain and simple, and the craft brewing industry does things differently. When Avery Brewing and Russian River discovered that they both had a beer named Salvation, rather than sue each other for the naming rights, they decided to blend their beers into a new beer called Collaboration Not Litigation. That is the industry that Renegade joined and that is the industry we wish to preserve. Can you imagine Chevy and Ford reaching an agreement like that? Or Anheuser Busch and Coors? No, it wouldn't happen between any other companies other than craft beer companies.

Therefore, the new name we chose for our beer is Redacted. It represents that there was something there before that no longer is, that our original name was silenced by a legal move. Although the name will change, the beer inside the cans will not. No recipe changes will take place. We look forward to continuing to bring our popular Rye IPA to the people of Colorado and to working in the greatest industry in existence.

Redacted is expected to start hitting shelves in April 2013. Until then the beer will continue to be distributed under the current Ryeteous label.


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Renegade Brewing

925 W. 9th Ave., Denver, CO

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21 comments
bisonlawrence
bisonlawrence

Not bad for a San Fran restaurant group ripping off authentic Chicago deep dish. The "deep dish" on the menu is actually called a stuffed pizza when in the Windy City. They should have paid more attention to originators, while copying a style and misrepresenting it. The thin crust is not reminiscent of Chicago and as a true Chicagoan, this place is a total let down. You haven't experienced Chicago style pizza until you've had Lou's, Giordano's, Uno, Duo, Barnaby's... And they don't even have Italian Beefs on the menu. I've spent a few years working at various Chicago pizzerias, Patxi's is not one of them. We wouldn't hide out kitchens behind a brick wall. And where's the cracker crust on the menu? I wonder if these fools even know what I'm talking about? Stop trying to make dough off my city. Call your pie for what it is, not what it's trying to be. I can't go in there until they at least fix the name of the pie on the menu. Disgraceful to our heritage.

a94buff
a94buff

Renegade rules. Way to make beer flavored lemonade guys! And sixpoint, please eat a fat one.

maxplanck0
maxplanck0

My take is 6-point enjoys throwing its weight around, just like that fellow obnoxious NY'r, Donald Trump. Their rejection of Brian's collaboration proposal speaks volumes to their arrogance and as the word gets around the industry - and it will - their brand will incur far more damage than this petty incursion ever would.

As for Renegade: they rule!!

epll
epll

Perhaps this foreshadows Sixpoint's plans to enter the Colorado market?  If that's the case, then I can understand wanting the name changed.  If, however, Sixpoint is not intending to move into this market, it seems more than a little petty.  I'd also venture (with the caveat that I am not an IP lawyer), that mark confusion sufficient to satisfy a Lanham Act claim is unlikely if Sixpoint and Renegade are not selling in the same markets.  With all of that said, if you've had Sixpoint's beer, you know that the image and marketing far exceeds quality.  Their beer (while not bad by any stretch) has somewhat of a cult following back east in part, I believe, because of their unique packaging and labeling (they use tall, skinny cans, like what Izze uses).  In that sense, I'm not surprised that they would react the way they have to a perceived brand infringement. 


Just another example of the craft beer industry growing up in sad, unfortunate ways.  As Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Lester Bangs said, "you're coming along at a very dangerous time for rock & roll."

Todd Elsen
Todd Elsen

I had a Ryeteous last night. I feel honored I had one of the last ones.

Sharon Fiscus
Sharon Fiscus

Don't the east coast beer folks have anything better to do than pick on western beer folks?

ecurmudgeon
ecurmudgeon

Next, Renegade is going to get a C&D from Lagunitas Brewing over the "Redacted" name, citing their "Censored" label...

Cory Winget
Cory Winget

Ryetous and righteous are now the same according to law? ...lol ok.

Montanaandy
Montanaandy

This exemplifies where things seemed to be headed lately in the craft brewing world - litigation and not collaboration. Breweries will have to begin to pay close attention to first use issues, trademark issues, etc. and will need to have an attorney/law firm at the ready.

beername
beername

Sorry they had to change the name, but I think this alternative is awesome!  A better name and story, to be honest. Seems that the East Coasters are cranky hard asses.

 Although I do think the Oskar Blues Gordon Knight forced name change is still the most appalling.  I have never since stepped foot in a GB.

Fletcherneedsajob
Fletcherneedsajob topcommenter

Those NYC clowns better not show up to GABF this year... I'll give them something to litigate. 

Amy Dolinger
Amy Dolinger

there you go with be offensive yet again! and we love you for it!

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

I guess I wasn't paying attention last time I looked at the name of the beer, because I missed the second e in  Ryeteous and thought it was supposed to be a pun on "riotous," not "righteous." Guess I'd make a pretty bad copyright attorney. 

monopod
monopod

@Mantonat Probably so, especially since this is a trademark (not copyright) issue.  (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

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