That’s why Seventh Son Brewing (which is coming… soon?) had to change their name from Born Brewing when they discovered a potential conflict with an InBev/Anheuser-Busch trademark for “Born Small Town.” It’s also why Watershed had to rename their gin (originally called “Gin from Watershed”) to include the words “Four Peel” to avoid a potential conflict with Catocin Creek Distilling Co’s trademark on “Watershed Gin.”
The latest Columbus alcohol startup to discover to power of a name is Oval Brewing Co – or should I say, the Land-Grant Brewing Company.
“We ran into an unforeseen trademark conflict with an international distillery, Oval Vodka,” explained brewery co-owner Walt Keys in an email. “We harbor no ill-will, and respect their right to protect their brand. Changing the name now was our strongest course of action.”
Here’s the official statement from the brewery:
We’re sad to say that moving forward, we won’t be calling ourselves Oval—a moniker that spoke to our simple approach to great beer, our love of sport and the heart of Columbus.
The decision to change the name represents not a misfortune, but an opportunity. It’s a chance to push our brand even farther. Easily trumping our sadness in losing Oval is our excitement to announce a new name; one that speaks to the roots of our alma mater, collegiate tradition and the soul of our company—perhaps better than Oval ever could: The Land-Grant Brewing Company. The name references a Civil War Era property law, which granted a few states, Ohio included, the property to build outstanding universities that emphasize science, engineering and agriculture, without losing the romance of classical studies.
This act allowed The Ohio State University to be founded in 1870, and the land, still provided to this day, acts as a stage to so many of the traditions that The Land-Grant Brewing Company celebrates: fall Saturdays in the Shoe, bright spring days on the Oval and cold winter afternoons spent celebrating the big win over that school up north. We know we’re not the only ones, they even wrote a song about these beloved rituals: “…and when we win the game, we’ll buy a keg of booze, and drink to old Ohio ’til we wobble in our shoes.”
We’re proud to continue the original Land-Grant’s vision. In many ways, we feel like we’re setting up our own institution of higher learning, a space to brew the beer we think everyone should try, but more importantly, a space where people can gather and take part in something great.
The brewery-formerly-known-as-Oval is working to switch their branding, beer artwork, website and social media accounts to reflect the new name. As for the rest of their development, Keys says things are coming together with financing and a probable location for the brewery, which is planned to open in early 2013.