Boston Beer, Boston Strong


Boston Beer Company, brewer of Samuel Adams beers, recently filed a trademark application for “Boston Strong” 26.2 Brew.

The Sam Adams Boston 26.2 Brew was first brewed in 2012 in partnership with the Boston Athletic Association and originally could be found only at select establishments along the marathon route. The 26.2 Brew is a Gose style beer, an unfiltered German wheat beer made with 50-60% malted wheat, featuring notes of coriander and salt. A light-bodied, thirst-quenching beer, Gose is a perfect post-marathon refresher.

In light of the recent tragedy, Boston Beer Company, a longtime enthusiastic sponsor of the Boston marathon, has pledged to donate its profits from its 2013 and 2014 26.2 Brew to the Greg Hill Foundation to support the victims and their families. While the “Boston” element of the trademark will likely have to be disclaimed, the “Boston Strong” 26.2 Brew would allow for the annual “26.2 Brew” to be re-cast as supporter of the victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

In an interesting application of trademark law, which is meant to to exclude others from using and benefiting from one’s marks, Boston Beer said it will allow others in its trademark category to use the “Boston Strong” phrase – provided that 100 percent of profits are donated to charity. This proposal and donation of all profits separates Boston Beer company from Chowdaheadz and Meahuna Coffee, both local companies that have also submitted “Boston Strong” trademark applications, but have been criticized for capitalizing on the tragedy, despite promising to donate some percentage of profits to charity.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has the next move. However, with or without the trademark, you can support victims of the 2013 Boston marathon by drinking 26.2 Brew. It might just be the refresher we all need.

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