Drop Anchor Brewery Changes Name to Avoid Trademark Issues with Anchor Brewing

May 18th, 2015 · No Comments · Washington Breweries

River Mile 38A small brewery located in Cathlamet, Washington recently got the attention of a much larger brewery located in San Francisco, California. Cathlamet’s Drop Anchor Brewery was contacted by Anchor Brewing Company, which is America’s oldest operating craft brewery. Anchor Brewing claims ownership of a trademark that gives the brewery the exclusive rights to the use of the word “Anchor” in the beer industry.

In order to prevent legal action, Drop Anchor Brewery agreed to change its name to “River Mile 38 Brewing Company”.

Keep reading the press release below for more information on the situation.

One year ago, when Drop Anchor Brewery opened in Cathlamet, Washington, they never dreamed that their success at brewing and distributing quality, fresh, local beer would attract the attention of the West Coast’s oldest and largest brewery.  However, Anchor Brewing Company, better known as Anchor Steam Beer, became aware of Drop Anchor after the little, local brewery started to turn up in over 60 locations in Washington. Anchor Brewing claims their trademark grants them the exclusive use of the word “Anchor” in the beer industry.

“Anchor Steam felt their customers could get confused when Drop Anchor bottles or cans our beer and the two brands are on the shelf next to each other. They are forcing us to change our name,” said Richard Erickson, Managing Partner.

“I guess it is a compliment that we have gotten their attention, we are a small, micro-brewery in a very small town that takes a lot of pride in quality and consistency and I think that is why we are growing so fast. Also, our top three beers, Broken Hose Amber Ale, Fog lifter Scottish Ale, and Hard Over Hefeweizen have been very consistent in sales. Once a business puts them on tap they normally keep them on tap or add them to their rotation of micro beers. And our Provocative Porter is steadily gaining ground too.”

Drop Anchor has created quite a splash in the Southwest Washington area with an identity for great beer and community involvement in Wahkiakum County, population 4,000. To prevent legal action, the new name search began. Taking several months and the help of a Trademark Attorney and with input from their Founders, they have a new identity. Erickson said, “Brewery and beer names are very competitive and it’s quite a chore to find one that is not trademarked but we believe we’ve found a winner.”

“We’re proud to announce we have chosen “River Mile 38 Brewing Company”. This name ties us back to the Columbia River and the Cathlamet Marina where we are located. If you travel the river by boat you would find our brewery in the Marina, 38 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River.”

On May 16th Drop Anchor Brewery held their one year anniversary party at the brewery and announced their new name to all their supporters, Founders, and the beer world. “We are very excited about our future,” said Andy Lea, Brewer and Production Manager. “We are doing what we love – making good beer to share with family, friends, and customers. We are now sharing it with beer drinkers throughout Southwest Washington and as far North as Olympia.”

Brewer, Steve Sharp, said, “no matter how big we get we will only use the best ingredients and take the time to brew a quality and consistent beer.”

“This is a small bump in the road that actually many new breweries have to deal with now. It is becoming more of an issue as the number of breweries grow. For us, nothing has changed, just the name on the building”, said Jeff Seawell, Sales & Marketing Manager.

“The future is bright for our brewery; not every new business gets so much attention. This re-branding has become part of our journey and with help and support from our community, Founders, and loyal customers, our young brewery and our community will grow and prosper. Come visit River Mile 38, stay for a beer, and enjoy this beautiful part of Washington on the Columbia,” Erickson said.


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