Booze sorry now? BrewDog in legal row over rival beer's name

Booze sorry now? BrewDog in legal row over rival beer’s name

  • Edinburgh-based brewer launches proceedings to stop larger rival selling a beer called Shore Leave.

A small Scottish brewery is taking the global drinks brand BrewDog to court, accusing it of stealing the name of one of its popular beers.

Edinburgh-based Jump Ship Brewing has launched proceedings at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in London to stop its larger rival from selling a beer called Shore Leave.

Founded in 2019, the low-alcohol brewery launched a rhubarb and ­ginger pale ale under the Shore Leave label in June last year.

BrewDog filed a trademark for the Shore Leave name in March this year. Jump Ship founder Sonja Mitchell said the first she knew about it using the name was in July when she saw mocked-up BrewDog designs with the ­slogan ‘It’s time to jump ship’.

Jump Ship sent cease and desist letters to BrewDog in August. BrewDog said it offered to settle the matter amicably and proposed a range of ‘fantastic collab ideas’ which included selling Jump Ship beers in its bars. Ms Mitchell said she rejected the ‘vague’ offer as the ‘whole point’ of the legal action was to maintain a clear distance between the brands.

BrewDog released its Shore Leave beer in September, also selling branded T-shirts, mugs and hats.

Edinburgh-based Shore Leave’s Rhubarb and Ginger Pale Ale and BrewDog’s Shore Leave Amber Ale, the product at the centre of the dispute 

Ms Mitchell said she was ‘incredibly disappointed’ to have to resort to legal action but felt she had been ‘forced down the legal route to defend all that I and my team have built’.

The mother of three founded the brewery after she wanted to avoid hangovers and create low-alcohol beers that tasted as good as the real thing. The business is building a brewery in Midlothian.

Lawyers for the company will be arguing for an injunction to stop BrewDog from selling Shore Leave beer due to the public being deceived into believing it is connected to the Jump Ship version.

Ms Mitchell said: ‘The basis of our claim is that BrewDog’s actions cause a risk of confusion amongst our stockists and drinkers and this causes financial harm to our brand.

‘We have put considerable investment into the development of our Shore Leave series of beers – from the creation of the beer itself to the branding, packaging and distribution. We cannot afford to lose that.’

BrewDog was started in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, by James Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007. The men now own just under 50 per cent of the firm, which has more than 100 bars and a yearly ­revenue of £321million.

In 2009 its Speedball beer was ­criticised amid claims it promoted the slang name of the drug mix that killed actors John Belushi and River Phoenix. Brewdog was also involved in a legal battle with Elvis Presley’s estate over its Elvis Juice beer.

A spokesman for the company said: ‘We regret Ms Mitchell has decided to take this action instead of working collaboratively with us to help her business grow.’

BrewDog’s CEO James Watt on holiday with his new girlfriend Georgia Toffolo.

The couple enjoys a night out in Maldives

Toff at the top for tycoon on Maldives break 

He has admitted being ‘too intense and demanding’ amid a workplace culture row at global beer brand BrewDog.

But Scots CEO James Watt – a self-confessed workaholic – has finally declared himself officially ‘Out of Office’ thanks to his new girlfriend Georgia Toffolo.

The former Made In Chelsea star, 29, and the 40-year-old multi-millionaire were first linked over the summer after being set up on a blind date by a friend.

And Ms Toffolo – the 2017 I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! winner – has now been pictured on holiday in the Maldives in the Indian Ocean with Mr Watt.

The business magnate remained true to form as he posted holiday snaps to his LinkedIn profile. Mr Watt, who is worth £262million after co-founding the brewery and pub chain in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, is well known for using the networking platform.

But as the tycoon relaxed in the Maldives with Ms Toffolo, he took to LinkedIn to admit he was now switching off as he changed his status to ‘Out of Office: On’

Since the couple met, he has been using his expertise to help with her recently launched raw pet food brand Wild Pack.

A friend of the reality TV star said: ‘Toff has never been happier. They have spent a lot of time together. They hit it off instantly.’

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