I just got off the phone with Matt Nadeau of Vermont’s Rock Art Brewery. I’ve been following the story of Matt’s fight to keep the rights to his Vermonster beer. For those of you that don’t know the story, it’s one that is unfortunately becoming all too familiar. Big corporation (in this case, Hansen Beverage Company, makers of Monster energy drink) going after a small entrepreneur (Rock Art) over the right to trademark a name (Vermonster). Read and watch more about this ludicrous story:
- “Monster-maker to Vt. brewer: No ‘Vermonster’ beer”
- “Monster vs. Vermonster”
- “Monster Problem for Rock Art”
- YouTube video
While I fully respect trademark law and understand how important it is to protect your brand, in this case it’s gone too far. Does anyone really believe that someone drinking a Vermonster beer will confuse it with a Monster energy drink? Oh Please.
For those of you who have seen the film, this is reminiscent of Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head’s fight with Anheuser-Busch over over the right to use the words Punkin Ale and Chicory Stout in 2 of his beers. He eventually prevailed.
So what can you do? You can join the Facebook group Vermonters and Craft Beer Drinkers Against Monster and/or join the conversation on BeerAdvocate and also watch the YouTube video so Matt can document his supporters.
Let’s hear from you and see what else can be done to stop this kind of bullying. Matt just wants to get back to making beer.