The owner of a small brewpub received a surprising letter in response to a beer served at his establishment. After noticing through the beer web site Untappd.com that the owner of Exit Six in Cottleville, MO served a drink called “Frappicino,” Starbucks attorney Anessa Own Kramer leaped into action.
Starbucks presented the owner of the tiny, four-employee establishment with a “cease and desist” letter because the beer’s name was too similar to their trademarked “Frappuccino.” Apparently, according to Starbucks, since there was but one letter difference, people are somehow so incredibly brainless that they are incapable of making the distinction between a frosty caffeinated beverage and a frosty beer directly from the tap. Starbucks, according to the letter, feared that somehow customers might think they were affiliated with the coffee giant.
Owner Jeff Britton is not angry with Starbucks. “When I got that letter, I had to laugh. I don’t blame Starbucks for doing what they did. I understand why they did it and they had every right to do it. But I’m a small brewery, small bar, in a small town, that makes small batches of beer,” he said.
Britton renamed the beer “The F-Word,” and decided to have a little bit of fun with the situation: he wrote Starbucks back! “I would like for both [attorney Anessa] Owen Kramer and Mr Bucks to rest assured we meant no deception, confusion, or mistaking in the naming of the beer F Word,” Britton insisted. “We never thought that our beer drinking customers would have thought that the alcoholic beverage coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee from one of the many, many, many stores located a few blocks away. I guess that with there being a Starbucks on every corner of every block in every city that some people may think they could get a Starbucks at a local bar. So that was our mistake,” Britton said in the snarky return letter.
“Us small business owners need to stick together,” Britton concluded.
Just to make sure things were square, he included a check for the amount he would have made from the three people who said they ordered the beer in question– a whole six dollars!
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