A BoDean by any other name

Is it a rock group or a 'Twisted Tea'?

Nov 10, 2000 - The music group the BoDeans has sued Boston Beer Co., claiming the brewer is trying to capitalize on the group's fame by marketing malt beverages under the names of BoDean's Twisted Tea and BoDean's Twisted Lemon Tea.


Michelle Sullivan, spokeswoman for Boston Beer, said the company has not yet seen the suit. "We do not believe BoDean's Twisted Tea is causing confusion with anyone else's business or product," she said.

BoDean's Twisted Tea is a malt-based, flavored beverages designed as an alternative to beer. Sales have been brisk since BoDean's Twisted Tea was launched in March. Boston Beer is better known for making Samuel Adams beer.

The band asked Boston Beer to no longer call its malt products BoDean's, but the brewery refused, the lawsuit said. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and an order prohibiting Boston Beer from using the BoDean's name without permission or doing anything likely to lead the public to believe the band and the beverage are connected. The BoDeans, based in Milwaukee, have been around since the mid 1980s.

"One ad includes a representation of guitars hanging on defendant's BoDean's malt liquor bottles," the lawsuit said, adding that the ad also "refers to plaintiffs' concert at the Marcus Amphitheater during Summerfest in Milwaukee: "BoDean's Hit Milwaukee July 9th!'"

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