Gordon Biersch clobbers Oskar Blues for using ‘Gordon’


(Lyons, CO) – Oskar Blues Brewery will change the name of Gordon after using it for over seven years.

[2/2 Update: CraftWorks has responded to the news about the Gordon name change.]

Those cans of Gordon tumbling to the ground may be some of the last to be produced under the old name.

Brewery spokesman, Chad Melis, confirmed a rumor on Westword that first surfaced last month: Oskar Blues was to change the name of one of its longtime flagships after being hit with a cease and desist order by the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group. Melis also told the publication that there will be a party held at the brewery to celebrate the beer’s new name on February 19th.

The new name will be G’Knight and labels have already been approved by the TTB (see image below). Per the brewery website, “It’s brewed in tribute to Gordon Knight, a Colorado craft beer pioneer and Vietnam vet who died fighting a 2002 wild fire outside of our Lyons hometown.”

The new name will still fit but the whole thing begs the question…why send a cease and desist after allowing Oskar Blues to use the name for several years? Gordon Biersch did not respond to a request for comment on the story [for that matter, Oskar Blues also didn’t respond]. There is speculation that it may have something to do with the recent acquisition of the restaurant group by Centerbridge Partners.

Gordon Biersch holds a number of trademarks in the beer category and has an obligation to defend these marks in situations of infringement in order to keep them. Whether this is infringement is obviously up for debate. Oskar Blues attempted to file a trademark for Gordon four years ago but ultimately failed. Trademark law allows the filer a certain amount of time to address any qualifications on its original filing, typically six months. Documentation at Trademarkia shows that the Oskar Blues filing was abandoned. It would appear as though Oskar Blues either ran into GB before or had an administrative oversight, one that may have proved to be costly than the brewery realized.


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20 thoughts on “Gordon Biersch clobbers Oskar Blues for using ‘Gordon’

  1. Well that sucks. GB never had an issue with the name until the new owners took over. This makes me wonder if they’re really even craft beer people.

  2. @Peter-

    Based on what I’ve been reading/hearing, the new owners are not craft beer people. They are looking to alter the Rock Bottom model to force the individual breweries to brew a few company wide recipes. The logic makes no sense at all, given that RB has built it’s name on the brewers’ originality.

  3. This is a very bad sign, the corporations are moving back into the craft beer world. Didn’t we already go through all of this in the early 90’s?

  4. This makes me sick. I’m officially boycotting GB beer and food – who’s with me?

  5. Rock Bottom is great stuff, if they mess with it, thats too bad. I don’t even live by a RB, but travel to philly every summer and hit one up.

  6. Do we all remember what Miller did to Celis Brewing? Everyone is clueless what to do with Pyramid. Add Magic Hat now

    Will Rock Bottom turn into another BJ’s? We’ve already got one (i.e. where they are profitable only), and they blow

    Craft beer drinkers can take a stand. Who else is going to support the conglomerations?

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  11. A boycott is the most appropriate response. I’ll be joining The Burgundian in that respect. It doesn’t make me sick, per se. However, this is an example of unnecessary bullying. I certainly never confused Oskar Blues Gordon with any Gordon Biersch beers. Ridiculous.

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  14. I think I’ll buy some G’Knight and bring some to a local Gordon Biersch. Pour some samples to patrons to show how a well-crafted, tasty brew is likt.

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