New Viewpoint: Bear Republic V Central City – Bierfestens 4th day

Posted on March 26, 2011


Firstly I have to comment that this article is written while is nearly midnight in a North Cali Hotel Room after a night at Bear Republic.. and this brewery is the bone of contention among many Canadian beer lovers for suing BC brewer Central City. The legal mumbo jumbo can be read here..

Having lived in BC and experienced Vancouver brewer Central City in their Red Racer IPA for years on end I can attest to the quality and validity for it being one of the top 10 IPA’s in North America. I remember one of the first times a friend tried it he mentioned the similarities to Racer 5.. which is a Bear Republic product. I hadn’t tried this beer until about a year ago when this lawsuit came about.

Without dount I’m not a Laywer nor very good analyst, but I can summarise fact as I’m an analyst and make my living doing it. And though I have a soft spot for Central city, I don’t agree in breaking the law. In this area I can view both sides after now coming to Northern Cali to taste and experience Bear Republic first hand, and yes I now feel Central City ripped off Bear Republic. Although I think the Central City IPA is better than Bear Republic on personal flavor and quality. Assume the brew procedures are different as are recipes.

Before the parochial BC beer lovers get on this post and bash it, please ensure you have actually been to Bear Republic in Cali and not just consumed the beer from Bomber bottles from a liquor store. There are various points of reference in this case and I now can see too many similarities for it to be a close case. One of my mates who is a lawyer said that its like the case has a sympathetic judge, who had not actually tried the beers to see how they compare.

This is a late night post and I know this is a contentious area for many but I also agree in trademark and legal issues being upheld. We spoke to a few locals in the bar tonight that used to make bicycles with the owner of Bear Republic and to be honest there are bikes around the pub. In Central City it is not a bike pub, the chick on the bike on the can is a cool logo

In beer circles its a close community and I think its a brotherhood that was only common in wine circles in the early days before Fosters, Constellation and other large companies that take out the heart and sole in a brewer. According to sources at Bear there were early discussions that said lets work this shit out, but Central City said NO.. and you know what I’m not getting into a He Said She Said Mantra with it, but Central City should have spoken further on this issue.

I initially wrote on this case and now after going to the brewery in California and speaking to some of the staff and trying their beer I can see where the issues are. I do prefer Central City IPA, but I’m also biased as I used to live in Vancouver, but I can see copying issues from an analytical  perspective. So what is the conclusion to this story??

I’m actually going to send some RED RACER IPA to the staff at Bear Republic to taste the IPA that they have heard about  but never tried unfortunately, which I’m sure is about laws of shipping alcohol across borders.

Heading to North Coast Brewery Today after some wine tasting.. Day 5 Awaits..