I just saw this on Badrock's Facebook post yesterday, so I wrote to GB's marketing dept. Here is the response, just so you have the other side of the story.
I understand your consternation over the information you probably received from the blog postings below. Let me assure you that, as is often the case with the internet, they are relatively devoid of facts and context.http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/3299175http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2 ... kar_bl.phphttp://beernews.org/2011/01/gordon-bier ... s-for-usin
While it is true that Dan Gordon, a founder of Gordon Biersch, has asked Oskar Blues to change the name of the beer â€œGordonâ€ it is a little more involved than the Beer Advocate posting would imply. Oscar Blues came out with a single beer named â€œGordon,â€ in memory of the late brewer Gordon Knight, in 2002. Dan Gordon has been producing German Lagers and Hefeweizen with the name Gordon Biersch on the label since 1988. Dan asked Oskar Blues to change their beer name to â€œKnightâ€ or some other moniker that consumers would not confuse with his beer for years. They had settled on a verbal agreement that Oskar Blues would not sell the brand â€œGordonâ€ in states where Gordon Biersch is distributed, which did not include Oskar Bluesâ€™ home state of Colorado. Oskar Blues did not hold up their end of the bargain and that is why legal action was taken.
Please keep in mind that all businesses have the right and obligation to protect their trademarks. We have received cease and desist letters over the years for beer names such as â€œSummer Festâ€ and have always complied out of respect for our brewing brethren, if in fact they had the name before us. This includes the most respected craft breweries in the country, there is no resentment, it is simply good business. http://brewpublic.com/beer-news/merger- ... t-brewers/
As far as the post on the â€œBrewpublicâ€ blog which asserts that Gordon Biersch is forcing Rock Bottom brewers to all make the same beers, that is simply false and frankly bizarre. Management and Brewers from both companies have the utmost admiration and respect for each other and the beers we produce, as well as the people who enjoy them. We acknowledge that we do many things differently, but we embrace those differences and would never take any action to jeopardize the quality, variety or consistency of our beer.
That said any merger is like a marriage, meaning there will be some changes and compromises and we are still trying to figure out what those might be. There has been some discussion of developing a few consistent core brands at Rock Bottom, as we have at Gordon Biersch, but by no means would that entail restricting the â€œfreedomâ€ of the Rock Bottom brewers to create and serve their wide variety of award winning styles, from mainstream to extreme. There also seems to be some misunderstanding of what we do in the brewery at Gordon Biersch. True all GB breweries produce the same five classic German styles, all of which have won GABF and World Beer cup medals, but we also allow our brewers to come up with their own more â€œout thereâ€ interpretations of German biers. Last year we received GABF medals for Rauchbier and Eisbock and we are currently producing Imperial Pilsners and Sticke Alt beers as well.
I implore you to keep on open mind about what â€œCraft Beerâ€ is and who defines it. We have 68 hard working brewers whose livelihoods and families depend on the wisdom of beer connoisseurs such as yourself not to let be led astray by the self appointed â€œexperts.â€ Like beer, information is best when it is obtained fresh at its source. So let them chatter all they want, we will continue making some of the best beer you can find on the planet in hopes that you will appreciate imbibing it as much as we appreciate your patronage.
Director of Marketing - Brewery Restaurant Group and Specialty Concepts
CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc.