Aldi, Brewdog Brand War Ends In The Best Possible Way: Collaboration

from the take-note-congress dept

The world may well feel like a terrible place to you right now. A pandemic is sweeping much of the world, with leaders from many countries playing the ostrich, or else treating the victims as though they were mere idiots. Racial tensions and brutal police practices are on full display, with the most surprising aspects being that they continue even as the world is shining a spotlight on the offenders. World leadership appears to be in full retreat, leaving space for truly nefarious actors to shoulder their way into ever more troubling activities.

Just last week, the White Sox beat the Cubs in two out of three. These are dark, dark times indeed.

But, hark, all ye who may despair, for I bring good tidings. Mere days ago, we talked about a brand war that appeared to be brewing (heh) between grocerer Aldi and Brewdog, a self-styled "punk brewery." It started when Brewdog released a "Punk IPA", fully in line with its branding motif. Aldi then released a beer called "Anti-Establishment IPA", in a similar looking blue can. This led to Brewdog suggesting on Twitter that maybe it should release a "Yaldi" beer. Aldi said "ALD IPA" would be a better name... and Brewdog agreed, rebranding the beer under that name.

Notably absent from the whole episode were cease and desist notices from either side, lawyers filing trademark lawsuits, or any legal machinations of any kind. Instead, there was much good-natured ribbing and a fair amount of congenial creativity at play. In the end, Aldi's social media accounts had a laugh at Brewdog taking its suggestion, and even mentioned it might have to save some aisle space for the newly branded beer.

Which, in conclusion, appears to be happening.

Were you like me, where some part of your professional life is spent writing stories about ever more stupid trademark disputes and far too may of them ending in even more stupid litigation, you would realize just how satisfying this is. Compared with pointless protectionism, this is such good business on so many levels.

Lawyer fees are completely avoided. Trademarks for all sides are still fine. Just fine. And, most importantly, an entirely new business arrangement, one which will make some good money judging by the response to this news, is entered into by both sides. Everyone is fine, everyone is happy, everyone makes money.

And everyone has at least a little bit of fun with all of this on top of it. Bravo all the way around.

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, collaboration, friendly dispute, punk ipa, trademark, yaldi
Companies: alti, brewdog


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Jamie, 27 Aug 2020 @ 8:17pm

    Holy shit.

    (a) There are two actual adults at beer companies who are capable of positive-sum thinking.

    (b) They ran in to each other.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2020 @ 9:59pm

    What a humble man asked is answered

    We CAN all get along! If we stop the endless blood lust of trying to win every competition at any cost, we can improve in so many areas, to the benefit of almost everyone. How much? I have no idea, but it's sure worth a try.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2020 @ 10:38pm

    Doesn't really pass the sniff test. More plausible is that the whole thing was cooked up between Brewdog and Aldi PRs. Not least Aldi's alleged 'Anti-Establishment IPA' can looks at best like a very poor mock-up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Aug 2020 @ 10:50pm

      More plausible is that the whole thing was cooked up between Brewdog and Aldi PRs.

      Let’s assume it is.

      So what?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Aug 2020 @ 11:13pm

        Re:

        It undermines completely the premise of the story. It wasn't a brand-war with a happy ending. It wasn't a brand war. It was just PR.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 27 Aug 2020 @ 11:37pm

          Again: So what? Even if it is a PR move, it can still serve as an example of how to handle trademark conflicts without delving into expensive lawsuits: collaboration and a refusal to see the situation as a zero-sum game. I fail to see what’s horrible about that, and that’s assuming it is a PR move instead of a genuine trademark conflict that got solved by adults being mature and rational adults instead of greedy capitalist fucks.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 27 Aug 2020 @ 11:42pm

          Re: Re:

          Let's say you're correct. What that means is that the marketing and legal departments on both sides understand that the whole system is so hilariously broken and widely absused that pretending to have a fight with a happy ending was the best PR for their new product.

          The point of the story remains even if it was fiction.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          charliebrown (profile), 28 Aug 2020 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re: I Doubt It

          Have you seen inside an Aldi store? At least 95% of their groceries are packaged as knock-off's. It's nearly all made by/for Aldi but designed to look like a name brand. Not similar enough to cause confusion but similar enough that you know exactly what they're imitating. So did they copy BrewDog's beer? More than likely!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 27 Aug 2020 @ 11:43pm

      Re:

      "Not least Aldi's alleged 'Anti-Establishment IPA' can looks at best like a very poor mock-up."

      I've actually drank the beer, and you can find plenty of YouTube videos of people doing the same, so your assumption is wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2020 @ 3:49am

    Yeast and Persist

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim, 28 Aug 2020 @ 4:58am

    Eh,oh no!

    Just think of the legal work lost, somewhere there is a poor starving lawyer without a case to think of...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Aug 2020 @ 11:08pm

    If only more companies would behave this way...
    but instead we have lawsuits over the shape of fruit being able to confuse consumers that a grocery store is a high end smart phone.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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)

Close

Add A Reply

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
Special Affiliate Offer

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.