Dear Friends and Fans,
We have been diligently working to launch the brewery in Brooklyn in 2013. I wish we could say that all our efforts have been devoted to making that happen, but instead we have been engaged in a trademark dispute with Sierra Nevada Brewery. As many of you may know, Sierra Nevada recently released Narwhal Imperial Stout. We have been using this name since 2010 and working hard to build our brand with it. We contacted Sierra Nevada prior to the release and at first, discussions with them were very positive. They sympathized with our situation as they were also founded by passionate homebrewer’s in their garage. We agreed we would not take any action to hinder their scheduled release and they agreed to withdraw their trademark application so that we could properly file for ours. Word of advice to anyone starting anything: file for a federal trademark immediately (www.uspto.gov). We did not and now are in this situation, LESSON LEARNED. We did however create our company in New York and started using the name.
After they released their imperial stout, we received a letter from a trademark attorney hired by Sierra Nevada basically stating they were changing their minds and that they would fight us on this. We don’t fault them for taking this position or for anyone to want to protect their trademarks. However, in this case we clearly were using the name first and will explore all our options to protect our brand and identity.
We would greatly appreciate any help or thoughts you may have and please reach out to Sierra Nevada (Sierra Nevada Facebook) to let them know that you support small businesses. We do not want to engage in a lengthy and costly legal battle against a giant company with deep pockets, but will do what’s necessary and what we believe is right. We have asked through their attorney to have a meeting to discuss to no avail. We hope we can resolve this soon and believe there is a solution where all parties come out happy.
We will keep you posted here and on our Facebook page. Thank you all for your support and kind words so far. Hopefully we will be able to get to launching the brewery soon and bringing more great craft beer to the world
Kevin and Basil