Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vermonster vs. Monster Energy Drink

Matt and Renee Nadeau are the co-owners of Rock Art Brewery (a business of 9 total employees) in Morrisville, Vermont who in 2007 celebrated their 10th anniversary. As most breweries do for such an occasion, Matt brewed an anniversary ale. It is an American style barleywine that is based on the brewery's Ridge Runner beer (which is a 'mild barley wine' according to the brewery's website). Matt opted to name this anniversary beer Vermonster (presumably named as such to celebrate Vermont and the high alcohol content of 10% ABV).

On September 14th of this year he was given a cease-and-desist order from Monster Energy Drink (med) to stop brewing Vermonster, and to cease all advertising marketing (Monster Energy Drink is claiming infringement). He has been told by trademark lawyers that there is no infringement for him to worry about. Instead, this is an example of Monster Energy Drink flexing its financial/corporate muscle against someone they are confident they can snuff out.

As is the case with most cases involving the court system, Matt has two options: give into the court order issued by Monster or fight. Matt has opted for the latter. How can you not side with Matt and Rock Art Brewery on this?

He and Renee started the brewery 12+ years ago in their basement. It has grown out of their basement and taken up shop in a small town of 2,040 people (per the 2008 census). Before September 14, they were perfectly content making their beer for a grateful local populace.

The beer was made to celebrate an accomplishment in their business's history, and a corporation wants to snuff that out. Thank goodness for people like Matt who, despite unfavorable odds, opt to not let bullies tell him what to do. I hope that people will get behind Rock Art Brewery and help them persevere through this, and fend off Monster Energy Drink.

A video put out by Rock Art Brewery on this topic follows below. Please watch and listen to it. Visit the Rock Art Brewery website, help if you can, and absolutely BOYCOTT MONSTER ENERGY DRINK.

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