A Press Democrat Blog

Beer Country

A digest about that other famous beverage

Craft or crafty?

Bloomberg had a fun article this week about Blue Moon, the popular wheat beer that just happens to be a branch of the MillerCoors empire. After years of taking a beating from beer purists, who complain that Blue Moon is a stealthy intruder by the big boys into the craft beer market, the makers of the beer are barking back. Their argument boils down to Who Cares? “We should be proud to make beers that grow and are popular —… Read More »

Lagunitas owner confirms: no fight over 420

Last we heard, Lagunitas was rethinking their decision to give in to Atlanta brewer Sweetwater, which demanded that the Petaluma brewery drop any use of the term “420″ on their labels. But I talked to owner Tony Magee this morning and he says he will follow his first instinct and not contest Sweetwater’s trademark claim, based on their flagship “420 Pale Ale.” “It would be like arm-wrestling for the name ‘Jesus,’ ” he said this morning from Chicago, where he… Read More »

Some more thoughts on Lagunitas…

My colleague Chris Coursey has some interesting reflections on Lagunitas founder/guru Tony Magee in his column this week, spurred by our article earlier this week about   the stink over the pot-slang term 420 with a brewer in Georgia. Incidentally, I spoke with a another senior official at the brewery on Thursday and he hints there may be more to come on this story, but that has to wait for Tony to get back from vacation. We’ll keep you posted. -Sean… Read More »

Tussle over 420 name leads to changes at Lagunitas

  Lagunitas Brewing is rarely in a position to get kicked around, partly because of its size and partly because of the larger-than-life personality of founder Tony Magee, but the brewery had to back down this week after an Atlanta-based brewery demanded that it stop using the term “420″ on its labels. Those of you In The Know already know that “420″ is a barely disguised code phrase for marijuana, and Tony has sprinkled the term liberally around his labels… Read More »