Michael Deeds: Outdoor music at night - and, yep, Boise Brewing

June 6, 2014 

Michael Deeds

There's nothing better than an outdoor concert, and there are lots of options this summer. But there's always something a little disappointing when an evening concert ends right at - or before - dark.

It's like being a kid again, and getting sent to bed just when things are getting good.

The hot sun finally has set. The band is hitting its euphoric stride. The cold beverage in your hand is starting to seem like the best liquid you've ever tasted. Then ... the encore is here? Already?

That won't happen this summer at Eagle Park Pavilion at Reid W. Merrill Sr. Community Park. Three concerts are slated to rock until 11 p.m.: Pat Metheny/Bruce Hornsby (July 22), Trace Adkins (July 24) and the John Butler Trio (Aug. 7).

These concerts are being organized with partying under the stars in mind, says promoter Creston Thornton of CTTouring.

"We're working backward from 11," he explains. "We want to take advantage of the lights and the full production and capture that nighttime experience."

Noise ordinances usually tie the hands of outdoor venues, particularly when they're near residential areas. Music at the Idaho Botanical Garden's popular Outlaw Field ends at 10 p.m., and even stops by 9 p.m. in May or September as a school-night courtesy. Amplifiers must be unplugged by 10:30 p.m. at the Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater - and that extra half-hour does help.

In Eagle, outdoor concerts normally must end by 10 p.m. CTTouring got a waiver, Thornton says.

For outdoor music connoisseurs, it could be the difference between a good night and a perfect one.

MORE BOGUS BREWING DRAMA

As I wrote May 30, Bogus Brewing - the community-owned brewery that drew unwanted "brand confusion" attention from Bogus Basin - needs a new name. Preferably with the initials "BB," to avoid redoing the logo on the brewery's concrete floor, etc.

It's done: Boise Brewing.

This would seem to make sense. It was the obvious suggestion from online commenters when they weren't piling on ol' Bogus Basin.

But from the perspective of Bill Kriss, co-owner of Boise Brewing Ltd. Co., a company name registered with the Idaho secretary of state since 1994, it's not cool at all.

In his view, the community brewery that some people think was bullied by Bogus Basin now is bullying someone else. Last week, Kriss says, a letter from Bogus Brewing general counsel David Arkoosh was slipped under the door of his consulting firm in the Alaska Center Building, the legal address of Boise Brewing Ltd. Co. It explained that Bogus Brewing had registered a federal trademark for "Boise Brewing," which trumps Boise Brewing Ltd. Co.'s right to sell any potential future product under that name.

It boils down to commercial use of the name Boise Brewing. Obviously, there is no Boise Brewing selling pints of ale around town.

"It's use it or lose it," Arkoosh says. "And no one's used it. This speaks to the essence of trademark law. The point of a mark is to protect consumers from being misled. That is distinctly different from merely holding a name as an investment instead of using it to sell a product."

Boise Brewing Ltd. Co. was established by engineers who worked at Morrison Knudsen Corp. Along with some buddies - now in their 60s and 70s - they spent many hours developing their dream of a brewery, Kriss says, from calculations to building plans. They almost opened one in 1997, he says, but the money dried up.

Over the years, they've heard from other brewers interested in the Boise Brewing name: "We just said, 'Yeah, sure, a million dollars? Come on down and we'll sign right now!' "

Otherwise, no thanks.

"We didn't want to sell the company, because we were going to do it someday," Kriss says. "It's just old dumb guys who wanted to start their own brewery."

Kriss calls the fact that Bogus Brewing didn't choose a different "BB" name "ridiculous."

"But that's the imagination of the people and lawyers that are at Bogus Brewing," he says. "They are geographically fixated. They cannot get over very close geographical locations, evidently."

Bogus Brewing founder Collin Rudeen says finding a name not being used, particularly a "BB," was difficult. He understands if the men behind Boise Brewing Ltd. Co. aren't thrilled but says: "We kind of feel like a brewery in the city of Boise, you should be able to be named Boise Brewing. ... If no one's using it."

Kriss jokes that he'll take this all the way to the Supreme Court.

"If my sister was still a lawyer, I would fight this forever," he adds.

But, ultimately, he and the other brewery dreamers don't care about the name that much.

"We're just pissed off that ... these guys couldn't think of anything better to do," he says.

All I know is that when the new, ex-Bogus-now-Boise Brewing opens June 13 at 521 Broad St., they'd better have a sour on tap.

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