Left Hand Brewing files trademark application for ‘Nitro’, receives criticism, responds

Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout label

(Longmont, CO) – It has been a whirlwind 24 hours for Left Hand Brewing.

A Tuesday story in the Denver Post describing the situation around the company’s filing for the term, “Nitro,” caught on like wildfire across social media.

Some took to Left Hand’s Facebook page to complain about the filing and the company issued a statement on Wednesday night. The update now has over 100 comments. Read it in full below.


We hear your concerns and would like to respond to your questions regarding the Nitro trademark application. Left Hand Brewing started the trademark process for “Milk Stout Nitro” and “Nitro,” names in 2011 when we were the first US brewery to bottle nitrogenated beers. Our goal has not changed but has been recently misunderstood. We are seeking to protect the name of our best selling products that we have spent a significant amount of time and resources to develop, not the style – not nitrogenated beers. Unfortunately, much of what we are seeing being picked up by media and shared recently is to the contrary. We do not wish to halt craft innovation or stop nitro-style beers from being produced or poured. We are simply trademarking the name our bottled beer has become so well known for. We believe another beer named simply, “Nitro” or “Milk Stout Nitro”, would confuse the public and dilute the strength of the brand we have worked so hard to build.

Left Hand will continue to be supportive of our craft brew brethren. In fact, we just returned from Oskar Blues, also in Longmont, Colorado and famous for revolutionizing craft beer in cans, where our two founders and employees celebrated the innovation of Oskar Blues’ Old Chub Nitro in the can. Left Hand Brewing will not be pursuing any action against Oskar Blues (who has filed for their own trademark for Old Chub Nitro) and is congratulatory for this major craft accomplishment – nitro in the can.

So while trademarking a name is not uncommon in the industry, we understand that the Nitro trademark can raise many questions. Left Hand’s motivation is not to hinder competition but to protect the future of our brand, our employees and the integrity of products. We hope that our fans and industry friends will see by our actions that our intentions are in line with being a leader in the craft industry that continues to support our community and offer quality beers that provide the ultimate drinking experience.

The Left Hand Brewing Team

2 thoughts on “Left Hand Brewing files trademark application for ‘Nitro’, receives criticism, responds

  1. I can see the controversy here because Oskar Blues Old Chub Nitro is the name of a beer they created, which gives the consumer a clear indication of the beer that their customers know and love and the version or style it is being portrayed in which is the nitro version. Although, Left Hand has created a great beer, it is the name of a category or in other works a specific style of beer, which is the nitro milk stout. Having a trade mark on a category of beer style will confuse the public even more, because they will have a monopoly on the name and other brewers who produce this style of beer, aka nitro milk stout, will be legally refrained from classifying it on the bottle or tap handle what their beer actually is…. a Nitro Milk Stout.

  2. Pingback: Why Left Hand is Right On | The Inebriate InquirerThe Inebriate Inquirer

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