Tuatara cops flak for trying to trademark hop variety amarillo

Tuatara master brewer Carl Vasta led the Paraparaumu-based brewery to winning the supreme award at the Brewers Guild of ...
MAARTEN HOLL/FAIRFAX NZ

Tuatara master brewer Carl Vasta led the Paraparaumu-based brewery to winning the supreme award at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand 2016 Beer Awards on Saturday.

Champion New Zealand brewery Tuatara has sparked outrage in the beer community for trying to trademark a hop variety.

The Wellington craft brewer applied to trademark the name amarillo with the Intellectual Property Office.

Amarillo is a United States hop variety used as an ingredient in beer to add bitterness and a citrus aroma.

New Zealand craft brewers have criticised Tuarata on social media for the move and the brewer has since withdrawn the application.

"We've heard the trademarking discussion loud & clear," Tuatara said on Twitter.

If Tuatara's application was successful it would have put restrictions on other brewers being able to use the name amarillo.

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The manager of Wellington craft beer bar Hashigo Zake David Wood was one of the first to notice the application, which was filed on Wednesday.

Wellington brewer Choice Bros said on Twitter that if the application was successful it would release its own beer called amarillo.

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"Hey @TuataraBrew - trademarking 'Amarillo'?! Are you f.....g serious? I will release a beer called 'Amarillo' if you don't withdraw," it said in a tweet.

Paraparaumu-based Tuatara won the supreme award at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand 2016 Beer Awards on Saturday.

Tuatara is also trying to trademark the word Kapai. Mata brewery from Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty already has a beer called Kapai.

It is not the first time a beer trademark dispute has erupted in New Zealand.

In 2011 DB won a long running trademark case over the use of the name Radler on one of its beers.

The brewery took action in 2008 against Dunedin-based Green Man Brewery, saying its use of the name was a trademark breach.

DB trademarked "radler" in 2003, two years after its Monteith's Radler hit the market.

But internationally radler is a term (meaning cyclist in German) dating back to the 1920s to describe a shandy-style light beer, usually about 2.5 per cent alcohol, of Bavarian origin.

More recently Auckland brewer Schipper's Beer lodged an application to trademark "Chinook", the name of a Schipper's brew, but also the name of a hop variety.

The application was later abandoned.

Tuatara has been approached for comment.

 - Stuff

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