Storm in a teacup, or should that be a beer glass?

As we’re out looking for new and innovative local produce and celebrating great taste and craftmanship in food and drink, it’s often easy to forget that the corporate giants in the industry are always trying to make an extra buck, at whatever price to anyone else. Or maybe it’s because of this that we admire small producers so much.

This is the story of the Redwell Brewery in Norwich, who started producing craft lagers in October last year. They applied to trademark their name, only to receive a letter from the head office of Red Bull stating (among other things) that “the trademark would take unfair advantage of, dilute and tarnish the Red Bull trademarks”. You can read the full story on the EDP website, but I think the quote speaks for itself. Maybe Red Bull know something none of the rest of us do about what they stand to lose, or what Redwell stand to gain from the use of the word “Red” and the letters “ll”, but this is really just a demonstration of what many small scale producers are up against on an all-to-regular basis.

I hadn’t come across Redwell’s beers until today, but now I would seek them out. And judging by the response on Twitter (you only have to look at @redwellbeer‘s timeline), so will many others. Whatever the outcome in the end, Red Bull have done themselves no favours, that’s for sure.


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