Words & Deeds

Boise brewery in a legal spat over a beer name

Mason’s Hipster Apocalypse, an IPA that is 5.7 percent alcohol by volume, comes in 16-ounce cans. It’s not distributed in Idaho.
Mason’s Hipster Apocalypse, an IPA that is 5.7 percent alcohol by volume, comes in 16-ounce cans. It’s not distributed in Idaho. Mason’s Brewing Co./Facebook

It’s beginning to feel like the hardest part about the craft beer industry isn’t brewing the product. It’s naming it.

10 Barrel Brewing Co., which has a brewpub in Downtown Boise, is the latest brewery to raise a fuss over a name. The complaint? Maine-based Mason’s Brewing Company is selling — and attempting to trademark the name of — a beer it calls Hipster Apocalypse. 10 Barrel alleges that this resembles its own Apocalypse IPA, and that consumers might be confused.

Mason’s posted a cease-and-desist letter from 10 Barrel’s legal representation on Facebook, along with choice thoughts about the situation.

Squabbles over beer monikers have become relatively commonplace. In Boise, Payette Brewing Co. renamed its flagship Outlaw IPA as Rustler IPA after receiving a cease-and-desist letter. And remember when Boise Brewing originally wanted to be called Bogus Brewing?

In the case of Mason’s versus 10 Barrel, many craft beer geeks inevitably will side with the little-known brewery.

Craft breweries are popping up everywhere, and many have their own canning line. Take a look inside Payette Brewing Company to see the ins and outs of the canning process.

Mason’s is a modest waterfront operation. But 10 Barrel, based in Bend, Oregon, is owned by international conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev — automatically turning hordes of beer drinkers against it.

The Hipster Apocalypse name obviously is a goof on the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Except with hipsters. The artwork on the can is actually pretty funny, right? Unfortunately, A-B InBev apparently doesn’t find the situation amusing.

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