(Tampa, FL) – Cigar City Brewing recently called an audible on its Churchill Barley Wine label. As I suggested on Saturday, it turns out that a ‘formal’ request did come down from Britain. Cigar City Founder/Owner, Joey Redner, had this to say on the matter:
We had absolute legal standing to use both the name and likeness. I chose not to out of courtesy to the family of a man who is one of my personal heroes. In the USA, Personality Rights are treated as inheritable property rights and fall under the jurisdiction of state law rather than federal law. In Florida (the only state the beer was to be sold), at 46 years deceased Churchill’s likeness and name are fair game:
(5) No action shall be brought under this section by reason of any publication, printing, display, or other public use of the name or likeness of a person occurring after the expiration of 40 years from and after the death of such person.
These laws vary from state to state. In Indiana, it is 100 years! But Florida is only 40 years and Churchill died in 65. But, as I said I didn’t want to use the image–rather I rightfully could or not–if the family was set against it. So we are quietly honoring the request that we not use the name and as you noted on beernews.org we have changed the name of the beer to Church on a Hill and have removed any likeness of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. If the heirs of Sir Winston give their blessing then I will redo the beer with the old label. Legally, anyone selling a product in Florida could do so now.
When asked when Church on a Hill and Roosevelt (the other upcoming Barley Wine) would be released, Redner said, “Should be no more than two weeks before they are ready to sell.” Both beers are a collaborative project with Swamp Head Brewery.