Craft beer wins thanks to SOBA

Cyclists and beer
Radler for a radler?

Yes, it’s everywhere “DB win Radler trademark case”. Good game, it was a game of two halves, and beer was the real winner on the day. Martin Craig also recognises some of the positives to be found in this controversial decision.

So let me highlight my findings from the past few days:
SOBA deserves a round of applause for putting this debacle in the spotlight, the whole radler beer debate has become the talk of the town and everybody seems to have taken the side of the little guys.

Kiwi blokes tend to have a general interest in all things beer related, so when beer is mentioned the natural reaction is for their ears to perk up and thanks to the waves caused by SOBA’s case you don’t need to be a twitter member to know what’s going on. Squabbling over a beer with family recently, I was pleasantly surprised when the radler beer trademark topic was brought up by non-enthusiasts. It quickly became apparent that the general public doesn’t need to be a beer enthusiast to see which side of the argument is the correct one. With hypothetical comparisons to winemakers trademarking chardonnay or merlot, people quickly see the gravity of the ruling (funny that IPONZ couldn’t).

SOBA need to give themselves a well-earned pat on the back for doing exactly what they exist to do; and that is to promote awareness of beer in all its flavour and diversity.

Let’s be honest for a minute, DB are correct in saying that kiwi beer drinkers were, as a majority, unfamiliar with radler being a style of beer at the time of Monteith’s Radler’s launch and were probably still correct right up until this case got John Campbell’s attention. But now a huge piece of the New Zealand beer drinking population not only know what a radler actually is, but they know who SOBA is and what they do; and they know that New Zealand has a massive, emerging craft beer scene that truly understands and appreciates a range of good beer.

Maybe we should be thanking DB for putting up a fight and in essence giving this beer case the limelight it deserved. A lot of their core market have a new perspective on the company now and with Monteith’s effectively being a stepping stone into the more diverse flavours of craft beer; we could see even more beer drinkers turning to craft brewers.

If all that SOBA has achieved here is to get their name and values more exposure to the NZ beer drinking masses then I say ‘good job’, because the majority of kiwi beer drinkers wouldn’t be too keen on a radler/shandy at any rate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Email address is required.