Tim Myers and Chris Hill are in double trouble. They've both been brewing a Scotch ale (a strong, sweet, caramel-colored beer) called Caber Toss and selling it out of their respective breweries -- Myers at Strange Brewing and Hill at Odyssey Beerwerks.
Rather than turn this trouble into a legal matter, however, the two brewers have decided to handle the issue the old-fashioned way: with a knock-down, drag-out duel.
"He obviously thinks his is better, and I think mine is way better," Myers says. So they're going to let the public decide, by tapping the beer at two different venues, Black Sky Brewery and Colorado Plus, and asking drinkers to vote for their favorite.
The stakes aren't very high -- the loser has to wear a T-shirt with the other brewery's logo -- and neither brewery is planning to package its Caber Toss, anyway. But Myers and Hill thought the battle would serve to highlight how in the increasingly litigious world of craft-beer naming rights, breweries can collaborate...rather than sue one another.
"We want to have some fun with this and play up the fact that we are not too worried about having the same-named brew," Myers says. "Hopefully, we can set a new standard for how to handle naming rights."
And both breweries have had their share of naming problems. Strange is currently embroiled in a bitter trademark dispute with a similarly named homebrew shop in Massachusetts, while Odyssey, which opened its doors in Arvada in May, has already changed the name of two of its canned beers to avoid something similar. And, in fact, it's also changing the name of its Caber Toss -- to Warrior Clan.
But that's no reason to skip a fight that promises to be a lot of fun. The showdown will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, October 8, as part of Denver Beer Fest, the annual week-long lead-up to the Great American Beer Festival.
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