A few days ago, I received this e-mail.
” Two days ago it was brought to my attention via Twitter and The Patch Carlsbad that 38 Degrees Ale House & Grill was opening in Carlsbad Village at the former “The Catch” location. This is in no way affiliated with my company. I had “The Patch” change this info as soon as I was aware. I am very concerned with the unauthorized use of my brand 38 Degrees as I have put all my passion, blood, sweat and tears into developing what I believe as one of Southern California’s top craft beer bars and New American restaurants. The owner Mayur Pavagadhi has built the façade with an almost identical logo using Orange color as I and Tan/Brown signs stating Craft Beer & American food. My brand 38 Degrees has symbolized and represents an enormous amount of good will in craft beer culture and our community since 2009. Confusion of the proposed Carlsbad location and mine is inevitable as folks were already mislead and commenting on “our arrival” into Carlsbad Village on internet sites. We have made personal contact with Mayur Pavagadhi and he was not accommodating in wishes for him to change name and look in Carlsbad and in fact stated he would seek legal action to up hold his rights to open as a craft beer focused restaurant using 38 Degrees Carlsbad as the DBA. I am writing all of you to consider helping me persuade Mr. Pavagadhi to dis continue this route of business. I do not have an e mail address yet for him but the 38 Degrees website now under “The Catch” Carlsbad will soon be live. If anyone personally knows this person, I strongly urge you to reach out ASAP. I will reach out to many of you via phone as I am very concerned. Let me know if you can have comments or disagree with me in any way.”
I know and repect Clay Harding who wrote this and I totally agree. It appears the whole “name” and “brand” issue is rearing it’s ugly head again. Coronado sues for the name Idiot IPA, not cool. The name Shift is being grabbed and re-used, not cool. Anyone with a grasp of recent craft beer history knows that the bandwagoners fall by the wayside when the boom and growth falter. LIFO in accounting terms. Last in, First out.
Here is the deal. If you are in the same market or same state. Don’t re-use names. If you do and it is an accident, apologize and then collaborate with the person who you wronged (that is called good PR). If you are a nano in California and won’t compete with a similarly named project in Georgia or Mississippi, then ask first (again, good PR, sense a trend?). Maybe it won’t matter and again, you should collaborate. There are many, many, many beer terms that you can use to name your bar, brewery or gastropub. Check out the Oxford Companion to Beer and you can probably find a cool brewery name or two. Due some diligence and don’t be a Mayur.