From Drinker to Brewer
In case you haven't figured it out yet, I don't spend all my time quaffing beer and writing about it for your enjoyment.
They are the last things I thought I would ever write about; I got into journalism to write about music.
And when I was a budding music journalist, writing reviews for student rags, I spent a lot of time reading Simon Sweetman's "Blog On The Tracks".
I still keep tabs on it, reading the reviews and the comments (I always like a good laugh) and recently enjoyed his "The Worst" series - a series of posts about some of his worst experiences as a lover of music.
The most uncomfortable person in a bar late at night is almost never the person being hit on the by seedy old man.
It is not the glassy, trying to weave their way through the scrum of swillers to the safety of the bar with a sky-high stack of glasses in each hand.
It is not even the owner, nervously thinking of a way to kick out the high-spending regular who has had far too much to drink without offending them so much they never return.
No, the most uncomfortable person in a bar late at night is the person who is not drinking alcohol.
Most people call it ''not drinking'', but those on the wagon usually have a beverage of some sort in their hand.
Us Kiwis are a very patriotic bunch when we are outside of our own country.
From taking over the capital city of England on Waitangi Day, to setting up a meat pie shop in New York - we love taking a piece of home with us, no matter where we travel.
If you think about it, we're just like the Irish.
They take their music, their pubs and their Guinness with them wherever they go - or make it wherever they go.
Beers native to other countries have been brewed in New Zealand for decades.
As I admitted in this article I have almost no knowledge of New Zealand trademark law, I thought I had better get someone who did to explain Radlergate better than I would
Luckily, lawyers can also be beer nerds. So here is a piece by Paul Johns - a beer fan who is also a lawyer with plenty of experience dealing with the Intellectual Property Office and the Commerce Commission.
Trade marks are essentially brand names, or "badges of origin."
They are an indicator used to distinguish the goods or services of one particular business from those of other businesses. Registering a trademark gives a registered owner the sole right to use that trade mark for its specified goods and services, and (in theory) provides a straightforward method to prevent competitors from using that brand.
Trade mark law does recognise that it would be undesirable to allow one business to have a monopoly on descriptive terms which would prevent competitors from fairly advertising competing goods. Generally, you cannot register terms which name or describe the goods in question or which are regularly used in the relevant trade.
Say that word to a beer nerd in 2011, and you were sure to get a conversation going.
I guess that's what happens when a brewing company makes a beer, names it after a style, trademarks the style, then - quite legally - forces another brewery to not name their beer after the style.
Radlergate, involving Green Man and DB-owned Monteith's, was arguably the biggest beer-related business story since the sale of Mac's to Lion in 1999.
At the end of it, DB were understandably happy.
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