They say that the U.S. Postal Service is going out of business. But letter carriers in Colorado will never be out of a job as long as out-of-state companies keep sending cease-and-desist letters to local breweries.
The latest, from Funky Buddha Brewery in Florida, landed at Ursula Brewery in Aurora a few months ago. It asks the brewery to please change the name of its Crustless Peanut Butter & Jelly Porter. Funky Buddha makes a peanut butter and jelly brown ale called No Crusts, to which it has owned the trademark rights since 2015.
Ursula owner Scott Procop says Funky Buddha gave him six months to change the name of its popular beer, which also comes in an imperial version, before the Florida brewery would take legal action. And he doesn't plan to fight, despite the fact that the beer names are pretty different (even if they mean the same thing).
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But Procoop is aiming to do a little trolling, especially since Funky Buddha is owned by Constellation Brands, the multibillion-dollar owner of Corona, Modelo and Pacífico. Constellation is also the company that paid $1 billion to purchase another craft-brewing darling, San Diego's Ballast Point Brewing, in 2015. So there's probably enough money floating around at corporate headquarters to pay for good lawyers. (Incidentally, Ballast Point forced Diebolt Brewing in Denver to change the name of one of its beers, the Commodore, back in 2016 because it makes a beer with a similar name.)
In a note posted on Facebook, Ursula's owner writes:
Yes, it’s true, we have received the proverbial cease and desist from a very large beverage company named for the "shapes in the stars." They own a smaller beer producer named after an "enlightened" religious leader. Said company thinks our Crustless is too similar in name and concept to a beer that they produce.
While we may not agree, we’ve decided to take the high road and just change the name of our beer (and also maybe troll them a little on the internet). Since they were nice enough to give us 6 months to move through our label inventory, we brewed a very special off-season batch of our Imperial Crustless just for you, our supporters. We’ll also be selling the last of the Crustless T-shirts as well as the final printings of the Crustless lunchboxes (very limited quantities on both so get here early).
Ok, back to the trolling. In accordance to the C&D we’ll be renaming Crustless. As a little tongue-in-cheek, gentle ribbing, we decided to call it "Bully Stole My Lunch". So for all future releases we'll be referring to our base 6% Peanut Butter and Jelly Porter as Bully Stole My Lunch, and Big Bully Stole My Lunch for the 12% Imperial version (new label artwork will be revealed when we release the first batch of Big Bully Stole My Lunch in Mid-November).
The release will take place on Wednesday, September 26.