News came through last week that Thunder Road Brewing in Melbourne are going to release Pacific Ale, a new “double fermented” beer that apparently infringes on the intellectual property of one Australia’s most popular independent beers.
After the blogosphere had a quiet celebration (Finally! A trademark dispute to call our own. No more living vicariously through the Americans for us and we can argue style guidelines as well), a thought occurred to me:
Boy, that sure does sound like a fucking stupid idea.
It seems unlikely that a highly professional organisation like Thunder Road, a brand I only know for their 2013 lawsuit, convenient parking of bright yellow trucks in 2014 and the paranoid thinking behind the brewing of their “Belgian” beers, wouldn’t have a board of directors who take the time to consider their options and put careful planning alongside experience to make well thought-through decisions.
It turns out they do. Funnily enough, I managed to track down a transcript of their most recent board room meeting:
Chairman – On to the next order of business, the new Pacific Ale release. Chair recognises the COO.
COO – Jesus Christ! Who came up with this?
CEO – I did.
COO – What could you have possibly been thinking?
CEO – Yes, well… [inaudible] marketing… [inaudible]
CIO – Are you suggesting we get involved in a legal dispute, tying up the resources of the judicial system, not to mention the legal fees, as a publicity stunt?
CEO – No! Of course not. I just figured Pacific Ale is a thing so… you know… we could leverage that?
CRO – You do realise that we don’t make Pacific Ale. Another brewery does that. It is very popular. It’s practically their trademark.
CFO – How do you think the public is going to react to this?
CEO – Those beer swilling morons? I run this town. They’ll like what I tell them to like!
CRO – I’ll go start preparing my resignation letter.
CEO – Ah but you haven’t heard the best bit. We’re going to double ferment it!
COO – Get the head brewer in here. [Enter Head Brewer] You there, man person. What’s this double fermentation business?
HB – We let it ferment. Then we sort of… let it ferment some more.
COO – And what does that do?
HB – It’s, uh, beer?
CFO – That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I’d do that speech from Billy Madison but I can never get the timing right.
CIO – Anyone got any better ideas?
[Collective head shaking]
CIO – Well, fuck it. Let’s go for it.
Backslapping ensues. Stupidity averted.