Our Two Favorite Things: Alcohol and Lawsuits

Ah, what’s a little alcohol without a little insult?  Our friends at Overlawyered recently reported on one brand beer that is changing its name due to today’s politically-correct climate.  “Albino Rhino,” a craft beer brewed by Earls Restaurants in Canada, will change its name after 25 years.  The new name: just “Rhino.” A woman who suffers from albinism had filed an official complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal, prompting the brewer to opt for the name change. In response to this news, we here at Abnormal Use started looking at some other beer brands that have resulted in litigation.  To our delight, we found a lot!  Booze, apparently, often prompts suits.

Last year, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission banned Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch beer.  Flying Dog filed a First Amendment lawsuit as reported by Beerpulse.com, which bills itself as the “World’s #1 daily beer news website.”  (Sidebar:  now there’s a website we need to visit more often!  Why has no one told us about this before? Clearly, we have been reading too many legal websites).  Don’t forget about Bad Frog Beer, whose label prompted one state alcohol authority to ban it (as it featured a frog shooting the bird at the drinker).

There are, of course, the trademark infringement suits, which beg mentioning because of some of the words these breweries are trying to protect!  Here’s a story about two companies fighting over the use of the word “idiot!”  The most famous case, of course, involved that little spat between Budweiser and Budvar.  Read about it here, and take our word for it–the American beer is inferior to its Czech counterpart.  No comparison.

Of course, if we were to talk about beer and lawsuits, we can’t go without mentioning Collaboration Not Litigation Ale, brewed by Avery Brewery Company.  I can think of mediation or two that might have fared better with a little beer, and some that actually have.

If you’re just looking for offensive beer names, there’s a website for that.  Check out this page, which has a link to more names on this page, too.  WARNING:  Some of them are actually pretty awful, and probably warrant a Rated X label.  You’ve been warned!

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