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Weekly Growler Fill | National Beer News Roundup

Sierra Nevada vs Lagunitas

In this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill, you will find all kinds of craft beer news related to laws, litigation and branding. To give you a taste of what’s happening: Great Lakes Brewing Company debuted their new brand while Lagunitas almost sued Sierra Nevada over one of theirs. Both West Virginia and Indiana may have favorable new laws for craft brewers in the near future and Deschutes donated a ton of money to charity this year with plans for more in 2015. Read on to get more details about these stories of the craft beer world.

Deschutes Brewery Donates More than $285,000 to More Than 500 Nonprofits in 2014

Deschutes Brewery Logo

Besides all of the regular reasons to love Deschutes Brewery, you can also love them for their giving spirit. Straight from the press release:

“Each year, Deschutes Brewery dedicates $1 per barrel sold to non-profits throughout its distribution area as part of its commitment to building a healthier society. In 2014, this resulted in more than $285,000 going to organizations that provide services for the environment, children, families, animals, education and those which supporting arts and cultural activities. In addition, the brewery donated an extra $37,000 in beer to support charitable events throughout the year.”

Too keep growing their charitable work, Deschutes designed two more programs to build donations.

  • Community Pints. Both the Bend and Portland pubs will donate $1 per pint sold every Tuesday of the month to a selected charity. In the Bend tasting room, $2 per growler fill on Tuesdays will go to the same selected charity. Check the company website for details on monthly charities at
  • Street Pub.  Deschutes will be traveling to seven select cities, bringing a block party experience to communities outside of Oregon. There will be a charitable match fund set up for local nonprofits at each of these events; look for more details and a complete schedule coming soon.

Great Lakes Brewing Company Hires Artist Darren Booth for Brand Refresh

Great Lakes brewing Old Logo Great Lakes Brewing New Logo

As we head into 2015, we’ll be seeing some changes in the Great Lakes Brewing Co branding and packaging. Here’s what GLBC had to say about the logo design:

“The new logo, created by Cleveland advertising agency Brokaw Inc., is not a vast departure from its predecessor. ‘Est. 1988,’ a new addition to the logo, speaks to GLBC’s rich craft brewing history. Gold acts as a complementary color in a single wave and a hop graphic signifying GLBC’s commitment to sustainability and brewing quality, award-winning beers with only the finest ingredients.”

Not only did they get a new logo, they also hired Darren Booth to design a new label for each and every beer. The hope is that the new designs will tell the unique stories of the brews and their making.

Brewers Waiting on New Legislation in West Virginia

During his most recent State of the State address, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin addressed the craft beer industry in West Virginia about his plans to help it grow. The brewers are hoping the legislation will include new rules that will allow breweries without pubs to host “growler hours” and beer tastings. The goal of this legislation is to provide opportunities to growing entrepreneurs and to help increase tourism. Over the past decade, West Virginia has made big strides when it comes to their outdated alcohol laws and it seems as if they will continue to do so. In 2009, they finally passed legislation that allowed for the sale of beer that contained more than 6% ABV. Hopefully, the new bill will open even more doors for up and coming breweries. We will keep following this story as it unfolds.

Lagunitas Drops Lawsuit Against Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada vs Lagunitas
Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

This entire story happened so fast, you may not have even heard about it. First, Lagunitas decided to sue Sierra Nevada for copyright infringement for the IPA beer label (seen above). Then, Twitter basically exploded and everyone freaked out, leading Lagunitas founder, Tony Magee, to drop the lawsuit one day after filing it. “When the court of public opinion weighed in, they said in no uncertain terms that what I was doing was a bad idea and they didn’t approve. Overwhelmingly it was clear that the course I had undertaken was the wrong way to go,” Tony explained to the Chicago Tribune. Click the link above to get all the details of Tony’s interview with the Tribune. Personally, I’m glad the suit was dropped. In the wise words of Avery and Russian River, we want “collaboration not litigation” in the craft beer industry. In reply to the lawsuit, Stone Brewing jumped in with branding for a fake brew making fun of the whole debable: Sosumi Ale.

Sosumi IPA

Proposal to Raise Limit on Distribution of Microbreweries in Indiana

As a brewery, you are subject to different laws, tax brackets, etc. depending on how much beer you make. In Indiana, a brewery is considered a microbrewery if they make under 30,000 barrels. Sure, that sounds like a lot, but the limit is restricting the amazing beer makers over at Sun King Brewing and Three Floyds Brewing from being able to expand their distribution throughout the state. To solve the problem, the two have teamed up to rally for their cause. The end goal is to be able to distribute their amazing beer to every county in the state. The brewing team proposed to double the limit to 60,000 barrels but Sen. Jim Merritt, R-Indianapolis, is taking it one step further and proposing to raise the bar even higher to 90,000 barrels. No official hearing has been set for the proposals, but we will keep you up to date as soon as we hear more.


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