Losing a battle – Winning the war

Losing a battle – Winning the war

As you are aware by now, the name of our brewery – Apocalypse – has been a point of contention with 10 Barrel Brewing Company located in Bend, OR. You see, 10 Barrel claims dominion over the word “Apocalypse” when it comes to the sale of beer, and therefore contends that we may not use the term in our business name. This argument has been going on for some time now and the battle against the 10 Barrel goliath has cost your small, local brewery significantly.

Funny… when we first discussed naming our, then nonexistent, brewery back in November of 2011, we didn’t even know an “Apocalypse IPA” existed. After all, while 10 Barrel may sell their product here in the Rogue Valley, we had never seen any specific marketing of the Apocalypse term or product and had never committed their label to memory when passing it up on the shelves. After all, as anyone can see upon observation, the word “Apocalypse” is one of the smaller features on the beer’s label – dwarfed by the giant 10 Barrel logo.

And never mind that there are at least two other established breweries utilizing the name and that the term is already used copiously in the market… with over 20 beers, from breweries such as Elysian Brewing (WA), Laurelwood Brewing (OR), and Mammoth Brewing (CA), having utilized the term in the sale of product.

Apparently none of that matters though – We are, seemingly and at least for the moment, the only target of 10 Barrels legal affront.

Interestingly, this is not 10 Barrels first experience with naming disputes. It would seem that history does indeed repeat itself. You see, when 10 Barrel was, like us, a much smaller brewery and just starting out – they too were challenged by another company making claim over their original name: Wildfire Brewing. And according to reports, with inadequate resources to defend themselves at the time, they too made a decision to change their name.

We, however, hold fast to what we believe is the truth – that 10 Barrel Brewing is unjustified in their actions. And rather than immediately “raise the white flag” as they did, we fought back against what we felt was a predatory action by a corporate juggernaut. Unfortunately, 10 Barrel’s relentless legal attack upon us could not be met with adequate resistance. In short, they successfully out-spent and out-lawyered us.

For us, this particular battle became untenable. Indeed, at least in the short run, David does not always defeat Goliath and your small local brewery could stand up no longer to a corporate giant. But we believe that opportunity can be found in even the toughest of circumstances and we chose to make a strategic business decision that we feel will ultimately change the balance of the equation.

We’re proud of our product and the support of YOU, the greatest group of craft beer enthusiasts in Oregon! We believe that we have no reason to hide behind a name – that our beer speaks for itself, and that regardless of what we call it, you’ll still stand behind it… and us!

And so over the next few weeks we’ll be transitioning to a new name. We spent quite some time considering what that new name would be, and came up with a number of possibilities. We even consulted with some of our highest ranking club members to get their ideas and feedback. In the end, we selected the name we feel best fits the spirit, personality, and ideals we have developed as a brewery over the past year.

Apocalypse Brewing Company will become Opposition Brewing Company.

Make no mistake… the name is all that changes. The beer, the place, the people – all soldier on, forever faithful to the benchmark of quality and innovation you have come to expect.

We look forward to forging the path ahead as we build and grow this business. And, as always, we thank you for your continued patronage, support, and for your continued efforts in making this brewery, your brewery, the best in the Rogue Valley.