Widely known for its commitment to never sell out to Big Beer, Stone Brewing is now boldly stepping up to Big Beer by filing a lawsuit that “alleges that MillerCoors is trying to rebrand its Colorado Rockies-themed ‘Keystone’ beer as ‘STONE.'” Stone Brewing feels that this rebrand – a move that has led to the repeated and habitual reference to Keystone Light as simply “STONE” or “‘STONE” in MillerCoors’ marketing and social media posts – can only lead to confusion in the marketplace, leaving the craft brewery with “no choice but to combat MillerCoors’ aggressive marketing moves, which abandon Keystone’s own heritage by falsely associating with the one true STONE®.” The official Complaint goes on to allege “federal and state causes of action for unfair competition, trademark infringement and related claims.”
“Keystone’s rebranding is no accident,” said Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing CEO. “MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected. Now its marketing team is making 30-pack boxes stacked high with nothing but the word ‘STONE’ visible. Same for Keystone’s social media, which almost uniformly has dropped the ‘Key.’ We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising. Frankly, MillerCoors should be ashamed.”
Stone Brewing is represented in the lawsuit by Noah Hagey, Rebecca Horton and Toby Rowe of San Francisco litigation boutique BraunHagey & Borden LLP.
For more information on this lawsuit, you can check out the video below where Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder, explains his brewery’s stance and reasons for pursuing this action. Since this situation is ongoing, we will be sure to update you here with any and all information as it develops. Stay tuned. Prost!