Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Elves War Over Brew

Posted by: Noël Jones

Nick Malawskey of The Patriot News reports that Troegs Brewing Co. of Harrisburg is suing the owner of Bethlehem Brew Works because they feel that Brew Works' new Rude Elf's Reserve is too close in its name to their popular Mad Elf Ale. What do you think?


noel jones said...

So is this copyright infringement, or should Troegs relax?

There something about the fact that both names are two short, one-syllable words, and the one if Elf that did lead me to think that they were different beers from the same brewery when I heard about them (before this suit)...a lot of breweries do that...like Delirium Tremens and Delirium Noel, etc...the other microbrew enthusiasts reading could list better examples, i'm sure...

I wonder if Troegs objects to the use of the word or concept of "elf" at all, or just the way in which it's composed in a name. For instance, if the beer were named "Dancing Elves" or "Elf King" instead of "________ Elf" would it still be a problem?

david w said...

I think Troegs is concerned that their beer will be mistaken for BBW's or vice-versa. For instance:

A beer drinker goes into a bar and says "gimme some of that elf beer...i love that stuff!"

bartender replies "well, which one do you want, we have two...mad and rude."

"what's the difference? the beer man replies.

"well" says the bartender "rude usually comes with being mad, but being mad doesn't necessarily mean being rude..."

"ah, hell" says the beer man "i'm confused...gimme that doggie style beer."

noel jones said...

an interesting point, emphasizing the memorability of the noun, versus the adjective. i think you're right, customers are probably more inclined to remember the "elf" rather than the "mad" or the "rude"... i don't know... maybe some would say, "what's that rude beer i had last time?"