Drinkers, bloggers and brewers have squared off after Northumberland brewery Brew Star was forced to change it’s name.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne based The Journal newspaper revealed how the eight-month old company, from Morpeth, had become Anarchy Brewing Co after falling foul of Lincolnshire-based Brewsters Brewing Limited.
The story sparked a reaction across the country, with many people taking to Twitter to show their support for the two breweries.
Wallsend-based Mordue Brewery wrote on Twitter that they were “ashamed of being a brewer” after reading about the situation, with brewer Rob Millichamp questioning on his blog whether it was “really a big enough deal to make a fuss over?”
“Whether or not you see other brewers as friends or more as competitiors the unwritten constant between us is normally mutual respect. But when you hear of something like this happening to a local micro like Brew Star (now Anarchy Brew Co) you suddenly realise that not everyone in the industry sees things the way you do.“
From “We must honour and hold true to each other,” Rob’s Beer Quest, 07.09.12
Newcastle-upon-Tyne pub Bacchus posted that they thought it was “bloody ridiculous” but Anarchy was “a cool new name.”
On the other side of the argument, beer blogger Simon Johnson defended the Grantham-based firm.
“I struggle to understand how ‘new’ brewers are so naive in business terms,” he said.
In response to the article Brewsters issued a statement defending their actions.
“We have been trading as Brewster’s since 1998, nearly 14 years. We also own the trademark Brewsters in the Beers and Lager class and several related classes. With currently over 800 breweries in the UK a clear brand identity for each brewery and their beers is more important than ever.
“We first came across Morpeth Brewing Co which was trading as Brew Star a couple of months ago. We were alerted by the confusion of a publican mistaking their beer for ours.”
From “Brewster’s Trademark Dispute with Morpeth Brewing Co,” Brewsters Brewing Co, 06.09.12
“How would anyone feel after years of building a business, to find someone set up the same, with a similar sounding name?” it read.
“Having two breweries with similar sounding names is asking for trouble especially when much business is done over the phone.”
The firm finished by saying they were “worried” by the way some breweries were declaring themselves wronged to become better known.
“One thing does worry us and that is the recent method of brewery promotion,” the statement said. “Where the brewery draws attention to itself and tries to align consumers to themselves by positioning the brewery as a victim of some sort of establishment figure whether it is a run in with the Portman Group, the local council or some other perceived obstacle to their rock and roll operation.”