Friday, December 19, 2008

Have Some Time To Kill?

Before we get to your reading assignment:

Madison Beer Review is slowly being dragged into the new century (we'll ignore for the moment the fact that we were created in the new century). We have officially formed a Madison Beer Review Facebook page! I have no idea where this is going, but become a fan, post some comments, post pictures of your beers; heck, we might do some Facebook exclusive content - you never know. In the meantime, you can put a profile to all of those people out there who comment. It's possible you already know one of them. Plus, it'll make it easier for you to know when MBR is doing events around the state. Next up, mastering the Twitter.

Frank Beer bought H&M Distributing: Frank Beer is the Dane County area (near-northern and near-western counties) distributor for breweries such as New Glarus, Tyranena, Lake Louie, Furthermore, Central Waters and Stevens Point; Frank also distributes PBR and Old Style among others. Frank has purchased H&M, a distributor mostly focusing on Miller products including Leinie's and Peroni and non-Miller products such as Labatt and Heineken (Labatt and Heineken are not SABMiller products, but does Miller import them?). As Frank takes over H&M's clearly non-craft segments, perhaps these buyers will find some room for the Wisconsin crafts.

In other industry news, A-B InBev has lost its battle in the EU courts over rights to the trademark Budweiser. This litigation has been going on for a very, very long time. It all got started because there is place in the Czech Republic, back when it still a part of the Holy Roman Empire, called Budweis. The town of Budweis has a brewery which produced a beer called, predictably, Budweiser (the English bastardization of "Budějovický"). Well, as we are well aware, the United States also has a brewery that produces a beer called "Budweiser." There is some dispute as to who started first and when, but the end of the story basically goes like this: Anheuser-Busch has prevent Budweiser from entering the United States under the name "Budweiser"; so, here in the United States, Budweiser, also called Budvar in the EU, goes by the name Czechvar. Well, until a few days ago Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser had been approved by the EU. No more. However, in a weird quirk of the EU, this ruling does not really effect any decisions or registrations that already existed in the individual member states. Basically, an EU mark is kind of a "default" state that exists unless the individual member state varies the default; where the two are in conflict, the general rule is that the member state's rulings and registrations prevail in the member state. Hopefully that makes some sort of sense.

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