Dead Frogs

5 12 2008

I recently read this article and once again, my brain said “HUH?”  I cannot believe in this day and age that big corporations are still afraid of the the “little guy”. Seeing an advertisement on a recent trip to the lower mainland of this new brewery based in Abbotsford, made me laff while stuck in traffic on the freeway. Then coming home and reading this article in the paper a few days later really made me want to say something. Of course the best way to get something out there and talked about is the internet. So here is my point of veiw. If Sleemans Brewery is this concerned about a very small company, then this company must have a good product. I, for one, and encourage everyone else as well to give this product a try. The first time I go into a Beer store and see this product I will buy it. If any of you have seen or tried this product please leave me a comment. I would love to hear your reviews.  The following is the article that caught my attention.

Big boys, beware — plenty of fight in this Dead Frog
Local firm takes on giant Sleeman over clear glass bottles
Brian Lewis, The Province
Published: Tuesday, December 02, 2008
When a big, eastern-based brewery recently decided to take a legal chomp out of an upstart Aldergrove micro-brewery’s hide, it should have known that, once bitten, dead frogs can bite back.

Specifically, the 17-employee Dead Frog Brewery is telling Ontario-based Sleeman Breweries Ltd. that it’s not about to be intimidated by the established national brewer’s launch of a lawsuit against it.

The lawsuit claims that the clear-beer-bottle design that Dead Frog began using in June to house three of its four beers is owned by Sleeman Breweries, which in turn is owned by Japanese brewing behemoth Sapporo Breweries.

 

The lawsuit’s claim, says 44-year-old Dead Frog Brewery founder Derrick Smith, is nonsense.

“This sort of thing happens in our industry on a fairly regular basis,” Smith told me yesterday.

“The big guys try to intimidate the little guys, who then often back off — but we’re not going to do that. We’re 100-per-cent sure that we’re in the right here.

“We taste different and we look different so this lawsuit is a waste of time and energy.”

For one thing, the Dead Frog bottle is embossed with its own logo — a dead frog, of course — while the Sleeman bottle is embossed with its own logo.

And as for the bottle itself, Smith points out that its “utilitarian” design is used by others in the sector, including Carlsberg and Miller Genuine Draft.

Or, as Dead Frog Brewery lawyer Christopher Wilson notes: “Dead Frog’s Defence asserts that Sleeman does not have a monopoly on clear-glass beer bottles and that, in any event, the public is not likely to be confused because of Dead Frog’s prominent name, slogans (e.g. “Nothing goes down like a cold dead frog”) and frog logo.”

Regardless, Sleeman chief executive officer and chairman John Sleeman is pressing ahead with the lawsuit.

His company didn’t respond directly to a request for an interview yesterday but his office issued a statement.

“Sleeman will always vigorously defend its trademarks, especially where my family’s heritage is concerned,” it said.

“We support small brewers because they are good for our industry. This isn’t about big [sic] being hard on small competitors but rather about us protecting my grandfather’s heritage.”

For its part, Dead Frog Brewery is prepared to meet Sleeman head-on in court even though, as Smith admits, the high legal costs would be money better spent on his company’s continued expansion.

In the past five months, for example, Dead Frog has expanded its B.C. distribution by more than 300 per cent and it’s now producing roughly 30,000 bottles of beer weekly, even though the beer is only available in cold-beer-and-wine outlets.

Smith expects his beer will be in B.C. government liquor stores by the spring. The company recently began shipping beer to the Yukon and also expects to begin distribution in Alberta within a few months.

Ironically, Smith also notes that publicity over the Sleeman lawsuit is helping establish Dead Frog’s brand recognition among consumers.

And that, beer drinkers, is how a dead frog can really bite its competition in the marketplace.

 

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2 responses

10 12 2008
crybaby

Hey Loosey
you have to tell me where the new name came from but I could probably guess.
Thanks for responding to crybaby about scents. If I can’t do scratch N sniff right away I have some new ideas. What do you think about t’s with an amazing logo of herbal/natural/healing products that come with a little vial of essential oil or spritz that you apply yourself and can match your mood/shirt? ie lavender : relaxing, healing, sexy,sensual,…. I would include the definition of the product on each particular shirt. Imagine peppermint or candy-cane,..fun, spicy,tasty, whatever, but you would have your scent available to spritz on wherever. I know this doesn’t sound much like a kids line but hey I am adaptable. For kids, what about your birthday month flower? all sparkly and pretty with matching scent? OK its girly, but I also have boys ideas. Luv some feedback, as I am brainstorming pretty much alone here.
xoxox cb

10 12 2008
crybaby

By the way we will be on the lookout for Dead Frog beer and I will spread the word, absolutely!

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