Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:51 pm
In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn't the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses — and to be funny.
The coffee company's bone of contention, Missouri brewer Jeff Britton was told in a Dec. 9 letter, was the use of the name "Frappicino" to describe a stout served at Exit 6 Brewery, a brewpub in a tidy strip mall in Cottleville, northwest of St. Louis.
When you run a coffee shop, and someone else opens a coffee shop across the street, that’s usually a bad thing. But sometimes, when you get enough similar businesses in one location, that’s good. And the benefits of cooperation outweigh the cost of the extra competition.
It’s that time of year when we talk about forecasts -- no, not the weather forecast, though we do have our fingers crossed for warmer weather. The Governor, the House and the Senate have all released their budget proposals and if the Governor or the House gets their way Washington brewers could be hit hard. The Governor’s budget would end a tax exemption for local brewers and increase the tax per barrel of beer sold in Washington state from $4.78 to $20.28. The House proposal wouldn’t hit brewers quite as hard but the tax paid per barrel would still be doubled. How would these proposed plans impact the micro-beer business and consumers? According to the president of the Washington Brewers Guild, quite a bit. Ross Reynolds talks with Heather McClung, president of the Washington Brewers Guild and the co-founder of the Seattle brewery Schooner Exact.