Salvation. The name of two intricate Belgian-style ales, created by us, Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing and Adam Avery of Avery Brewing. After becoming friends a few years ago, we realized we both had a Salvation in our lineups. Was it going to be a problem? Should one of us relinquish the name rights? “Hell, no!” we said. In fact, it was quickly decided that we should blend the brews to catch the best qualities of each and create an even more complex and rich libation. In April 2004, in a top secret meeting at Russian River Brewing, we came up with the perfect blend of the two Salvations.
That, according to Avery Brewing Co., is how Collaboration Not Litigation Ale came into existence.
But the beer industry is not always so adept at avoiding the courtroom when it comes to trademark disputes. Particularly with the explosion of the craft brewing industry in recent years, and the ever-increasingly creative names to come out of that market, legal disputes over beer trademarks are a dime a dozen. The latest of these lawsuits to reach trial resulted in significantly more than a dime’s worth of recovery for craft brewer Stone Brewing.