Beer battle brewing between Regina company and Moosehead

Moosehead Breweries from New Brunswick is claiming Müs Knuckle, brewed by Regina’s District Brewing Company, is violating its trademark.

Moosehead Breweries says Müs Knuckle, brewed in Regina, is violating a trademark

Moosehead Breweries from New Brunswick is claiming Müs Knuckle, brewed by Regina’s District Brewing Company, is violating its trademark. (moosehead.ca/districtbrewing.ca)
Two beer companies are foaming over the name and look of their products.

Moosehead Breweries, from New Brunswick, is claiming Müs Knuckle, brewed by Regina's District Brewing Company, is violating its trademark.

We are going to stand our ground.- Jay Cooke

District Brewing Company president Jay Cooke said they received a letter from Moosehead's lawyer telling them they had several issues with the Regina product.

"It's not just the name, it's also what the packaging looks like," Cooke said. "If you were a customer and you went to the store and you saw our two products side by side, they claim it would be confusing for the customer."

But Cooke said that since his company doesn't spell moose the same, and there is no moose on the Regina package, he believes it is a "loose case".

"We are going to stand our ground at this point and we are choosing to fight," he said.

For the Regina company a legal battle could be expensive but rebranding would also carry a high cost.

According to Cooke, Moosehead has a history of challenging newcomers and he claimed this is one of the tools they use.

"They are much bigger than we are. They are about 100 times the size of us," Cooke said of Moosehead, noted as Canada's oldest independent brewery. "For them to even see us as competition ... is quite flattering."

Cooke added that he's surprised by Moosehead's timing, noting that District has been selling Müs Knuckle since 2013.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.