Lagunitas Brewing is a personal favorite brewing company and the company has made the headlines before on the show.  While they are an aggressively growing brewery with a plethora of amazingly delicious and impressive beers, the company seems to have a certain relaxed attitude and all around chilled"> Lagunitas Brewing is a personal favorite brewing company and the company has made the headlines before on the show.  While they are an aggressively growing brewery with a plethora of amazingly delicious and impressive beers, the company seems to have a certain relaxed attitude and all around chilled">

Lagunitas Tweets Cease & Desist Over 420 Trademark

Lagunitas<em>WaldosSpecial</em>webLagunitas Brewing is a personal favorite brewing company and the company has made the headlines before on the show.  While they are an aggressively growing brewery with a plethora of amazingly delicious and impressive beers, the company seems to have a certain relaxed attitude and all around chilled philosophy on beer.  I assume this is due to the stewardship of their owner Tony Magee who yesterday tweeted about receiving a cease and desist for the use of “420” in marketing materials.

He never actually outs the offending brewery but anyone with knowledge of Atlanta breweries that use the term 420 should be able to quickly figure out likely candidates.  What is weird about this request is that Lagunitas never actually uses 420 in any of their branding.  It is more of a subtle nod to the 420 “counter-culture” as Magee puts it hidden in promotional materials or listed as a calendar date; April 20th, this year’s release date of their seasonal Waldo’s Special Ale.

While going public with this kind of information is never advisable I think Tony Magee does an admirable job of calmly complaining about the situation, suggesting the proper etiquette for such a trademark dispute, empathizing with the offending brewery, and ending with a “brew and let brew” attitude.  Though his tweets are a hilarious read.

In the world of crowded spaces, a brewery out of Atlanta sent me a letter today demanding that we never ever use the term 420 again…

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 8, 2013

Seems they got a federal trademark on it a while back. Mebbe they did. Hysterical it is that the same Fed that prosecutes also sanctions…

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 8, 2013

More bizarre that the bunnies at TTB that prevent Kronik beer names permit 430 names. Maybe Freddy trademarked the word ‘pot’ too…

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 8, 2013

He nevr bothered t call me though, that’a taken soul. But then anyone that’d trademark 420 must b bereft. S’posed t be counterculture,

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 9, 2013

It’s cool. Rules r rules. I do wonder if Freddy even knows the names o the grown-up boys that coined the term…we do. Good guys, they are.

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 9, 2013

I’ve hadda ask other brewers to stop using stuff we felt was our own, I understand how it feels. But I always called 1st. No problem here.

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 9, 2013

For da record, I’d never called a beer 420 anything- just stuck it here & there, sometimes hid it. No problem, I think we outgrew it anyway.

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 9, 2013

It ain’t what we are anyway, but it is what I do! Hope you do too… Long live the Waldo’s!

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 9, 2013

I’m also not goin all West6th here either. Drink what thrills ya….!

— LagunitasT (@lagunitasT) July 9, 2013

Personally I thought the highlight of the brain dump was the final tweet referencing the West Sixth debacle back in May.  I think it was a wise choice to call off any misinterpretation of a call to arms by eager fans of Lagunitas as they are a huge brewery and would be viewed as a huge bully for picking on a smaller brewery.

I understand and sympathize with Tony Magee’s complaint of “crowded spaces” in the world of beer brands.  It seems insane that a beer in Atlanta could influence the marketing of a beer in Lagunitas, California when both are referencing an aspect of the culture that the government, who protects these very trademarks, is attempting to destroy.

It is a moment in time just too weird not to be true and Tony Magee handles it as best as one can expect.