Gordon Biersch Cries Trademark Foul Over Oskar Blues Brew
A couple of months ago, we told you about Gordon Biersch and Rock Bottom Breweries merging under the new ownership of Centerbridge Capital Partners to create Craftworks Restaurants & Breweries. Now, Gordon Biersch is back in the news again, only this time it isn’t for making pals with another brewery.
Colorado brewing pioneer Oskar Blues Brewery will stop using the name Gordon for its Double IPA/Imperial Red Ale after receiving an order to cease and desist from Gordon Biersch. Despite the obvious titular overlap, Oskar Blues has called this particular brew Gordon for over seven years and even attempted four years ago to secure a trademark for it. That effort ultimately failed, and while debate remains over whether this actually constitutes infringement, Oskar Blues hopes to sidestep a possible lawsuit and has already announced plans to celebrate re-naming the beer.
A party at the Longmont brewery on February 19th will herald the official transition from Gordon to the beer’s new name, G’Knight. Originally named after the late Gordon Knight, a Vietnam War pilot and craft beer innovator from early 1990s Colorado, the beer will keep its recipe and the can its color scheme, but the word “Gordon” can no longer be included in its marketing. To maintain consumer confidence, the can will read “Still big. Still red. Still sticky.”
While Oskar Blues spokeman Chad Melis says this will help give some attention to one of the brewery’s underappreciated offerings, it certainly poses a significant inconvenience to make such a major change to one of only four year-round beers. Do you think Oskar Blues should have to get rid of Gordon?
Your choice. Your beer. Drink up.