Brew Dog, Aldi Get Into Brand Battle With Good Nature, Not Cease And Desists

from the yaldi dept

It's been quite a brief but impactful journey for Brewdog, a self-styled "punk brewery." The history starts with Brewdog first going after a pub in the UK over trademarks, getting a fair amount of backlash for it, and then having Brewdog ownership not only rescinding all the threats, but inviting the pub to collaborate on a gin together. As part of that whole episode, Brewdog promised to "do better" when it came to IP enforcement and even covered the pub's legal costs. It was a nice story.

One which the brewery has by all accounts lived up to. Subsequent stories about them here dealt only with a strange attempt by the Estate of Elvis Presley trying to stop the brewery from trademarking a craft brew entitled Elvis Juice. Brewdog won that one, by the way.

And now again Brewdog is making news for itself by poking at a larger entity, but has once again managed to do it in such a human and awesome way that Aldi of all companies appears to be a willing participant in the fun. The whole thing started with Brewdog putting out an on-brand IPA beer entitled "Punk IPA." From there, Brendan Palfreyman, an IP attorney that specifically focuses on the craft brew industry and is a fantastic follow on Twitter, picks up the back and forth when Aldi decided to poke the Brewdog.

Yeah, this is actually happening. Consider the back and forth here for a moment. Brewdog makes a Punk IPA in a blue can. Aldi decides to release a Establishment IPA in a blue can, one that harkens specifically to Brewdog's. Rather than go full IP lawyer-rage, Brewdog takes the whole thing in stride and announces the release of an IPA called Yaldi, which mimicks Aldi's branding. The whole thing is enough to make an IP maximilist keel over and die from an embolism.

And, yet, no trademark threats. The only mention of a cease and desist comes from a third party that has a Yaldi brand beer. Aldi never gets in on the threats. Instead, the game continues.

Take notice: this is a major brand basically showing a brewery a better way to create an homage to its own brand. IP maximilists they are not. And, because the folks at Brewdog are apparently made of that old craft brewing DNA, where you treat this business with equal amounts reverence and irreverence, all while maintaining a sense of humor... they did as Aldi requested.

Aldi's response? It said it's looking forward to getting a case of ALD IPA and might even clear some aisle space for it. In other words, there might actually end up being a lucrative business deal coming out of this whole thing.

And what's really striking in all of this is just how easily this whole thing could have gone ass up if anyone on either side had decided to play IP fun-police rather than act so human and cool about this whole thing. Brewdog could have gotten pissed at an obvious knockoff beer at Aldi and tried to threaten the grocery chain. It didn't. Aldi could have decided that Brewdog's retort was a bridge too far and tried to threaten the brewery. It didn't.

Instead, we might have a business deal in the works. One wonders if this will get the rest of the craft beer industry to pay the slightest bit of attention so it can go back to its old, better ways.

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: ald ipa, beer, bullying, establishment, non-bullying, punk, trademark, yaldi
Companies: aldi, brewdog


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Aug 2020 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is the best answer. Ten points.

    --

    But yeah, the whole reason IPA is what IPA is because it was shipped slo-mo from the UK to India... so in order to avoid a tasteless beer, you overdo it on the front end.

    I mean, it's interesting, a beer that tastes like weed, but i don't get the continuing, market-saturating "craft brew" infatuation with it.


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.