In Brief

Brewdog backs down over Lone Wolf branding row

Craft beer company withdraws threat of legal action against Birmingham pub-owners

Brewdog

Self-styled "punk" craft beer company Brewdog has backed down over a branding row that has damaged its "anti-corporate" ethos, says The Guardian.

The Scottish brewer has been forced to drop its threat of legal action against publicans Joshua and Sallie McFadyen over the use of the name "Lone Wolf", which the brother-and-sister team planned to use for their new independent bar in Birmingham.

However, Brewdog last year launched its own vodka, also named Lone Wolf.               

Lawyers for the company, which presents itself as a "challenger" to the big multinational giants in the sector, sent two cease and desist letters to the McFadyens and continued to threaten court action even after the pub changed its name to The Wolf, says the Birmingham Mail.

However, following a flurry of negative posts on social media over the row, Brewdog founder James Watt backed down on Monday, blaming the whole affair on "trigger happy lawyers".

After sending out a tweet stating he was happy for the McFadyens to keep using the Lone Wolf name, he issued a statement adding: "Although they wear suits and are mostly sensible folks, lawyers can sometimes go a bit crazy and forget the kind of business we are and how we behave.

"They are sorry for their actions and we have put them on washing up duty for a week."

The Wolf's owners, however, remain unimpressed. Joshua McFadyen told the Birmingham Mail: "We saw the tweet just like everyone else – there's been no other communication apart from the lawyers' letters.

"And we were not even tagged in the tweet. Clearly it's all been done for PR purposes after all the bad press they were getting."

The McFadyens say they have no plans to change the name back, as the rebranding exercise coupled with legal fees has already cost them several thousand pounds. They added that their company was registered before Brewdog launched its spirit.

Watt has offered to send the bar a crate of Lone Wolf vodka as a gesture of goodwill, but McFadyen said: "I don't want it."

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