Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Drinks giant attempts to quash small brewery

In a David and Goliath confrontation, the might of the French Champagne house Charles Heidsieck has cracked down on a tiny Kent brewery, Old Dairy, over the name of its Red Top beer.
Heidsieck, part of the global Remy Cointreau group, is claiming infringement of trademark on the grounds of confusion with a name they have registered. At Old Dairy, managing director Lionel Fretz is struggling to see the connection between beer and Champagne. "When we found out that Heidsieck had the name Red Top registered for Champagne, we never imagined there would be a problem. They are claiming the likelihood of confusion, which is absolutely ridiculous. They produce superb French Champagnes, we produce fine English ales. It's a totally different market and are in a different league when it comes to price. The only similarity I can see is they both appeal to discerning drinkers."
Old Dairy Brewery is based in an old dairy outside the small Kent village of Rolvenden and brews two beers: Red Top (3.8%) and Gold Top (4.5%).
The stand-off recalls the case brought by the American whiskey maker Jim Beam that attempted to block imports of the Irish stout Beamish on the grounds of product confusion.

7 Comments:

Blogger The Beer Nut said...

Didn't know that about Jim Beam and Beamish. Though Heineken solved their problem for them by ending the export of Beamish last year.

31 March 2010 at 16:06  
Blogger Roger Protz said...

You can trust Heinie to ruin a good beer or in this case move it to Murphy's plant.

31 March 2010 at 19:28  
Blogger The Beer Nut said...

I don't think Beamish was a good pint under Scottish & Newcastle's ownership either, mind. Smoothflow does not good stout... er... carbonate. Or something.

31 March 2010 at 19:42  
Blogger The Bocking Kellys said...

Surely the Milk Marketing Board should be having a go at Heidsieck. The MMB got there first with those names.

1 April 2010 at 09:26  
Blogger Paul Bailey said...

Never heard of Red Top Champagne, but then I'm not a champagne socialist!!

13 April 2010 at 22:08  
Blogger Matthew Steeples said...

Do you know if one can buy this in London? I'd love to try it.

Have you tried Nils God Lager? I recommend you do if you haven't already. http://dasteepsspeaks.blogspot.com/2011/07/godly-lager.html

9 July 2011 at 14:07  
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