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Monday, November 12, 2007

Breweries fight over Summer beer - New Zealand

This is a rather odd article that I stumbled upon. It sounds like DB will have to expand their marketing team and think of new ways to market their summer offering. I highly doubt that they will win this battle.

Is this a Brand or a Style? You Decide.


Drink craft Beer, You've Earned It!!!

Nov 9, 2007 7:54 PM

New Zealand's two biggest breweries are at war over the name of a popular beer.

DB is taking legal action against rival Lion Breweries, to get its new Summer Ale pulled from the shelves.

DB's Monteith's Summer Ale has been around for almost a decade, and it is worried that Mac's Sundance Summer Ale will damage years of goodwill.

They say Summer Ale is a brand, whereas Lion Nathan says it is essentially a style of beer.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Harrison said he associated Summer Ale with the Monteiths brand, and he said he knew a lot about the beer because he had bought it for his family and enjoyed drinking it in Summer.

However, the judge said DB had tried, and failed, to get a trademark for Monteiths Summer Ale and he refused to ban the Sundance Summer brew because:

"DB has no right to exclusive protection of a generic phrase unless there is proof of deception."

The $60 million craft beer market is the new battleground for breweries and DB says Lion Nathan is trying to play catch up.

"We've invested so much in this brand over the last 10 years and it's grown to be a really, really popular brand in New Zealand so for us it was about, we didn't want consumers to be confused," says Mark Campbell from DB Corporate Affairs.

But Summer ales have existed overseas for 20 years, and beer lovers say DB was trying to stifle competition.

"It's a bit unfair to grab a generic style description like summer ale and use it as their own brand," says Stu McKinlay from the Society of Beer Advocates.

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