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Alchemy Hour Double IPA: An Update

Posted April 4, 2013

Alchemy Hour Double IPA:  An Update
In light of the recent chatter concerning our Alchemy Hour Double IPA, we feel it’s appropriate to inform our faithful following about what is in store for our hugely popular and newest Seasonal. First and foremost, the response we’ve received for Alchemy Hour has been nothing short of incredible. Thank you for all of your Facebook posts, Tweets, emails, and personal comments. You have filled each and every one of us with a sense of pride. You are the reason we take chances, create new products, and commit ourselves to introducing only the most exceptional beer to the market. After all, it’s the liquid in the bottle that matters most! We are proud that we’ve made so many happy with Alchemy Hour, and we are excited to inform everyone that this beer will return in 2014!
Now to the “business” part:  due to an unforeseen trademark matter with Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (CBA) and Widmer Brothers Brewing (CBA is a unique alliance of three beer brands:  Widmer Brothers Brewing, Redhook Brewery, and Kona Brewing Company), we will not be able to continue with the “Alchemy Hour” name after 2013. As many of you know, we value the stories behind each one of our beers, and Alchemy Hour is no exception. Our Alchemy Hour Double IPA was inspired by the Great Lakes’ surf community. The name, Alchemy Hour, came from a surf term that we felt also applied to the magic our brewers make each time they create a new batch of delicious beer. The artwork and name were carefully designed to capture all of the elements that we feel make this Seasonal so great. As it happens, the fellow brewers at CBA/Widmer Brothers also saw the value in the mark “Alchemy” for their products some years ago, secured the rights to the mark, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Before we close the chapter on the name “Alchemy Hour”, we’d love to share answers to some of the questions we expect to receive:

Why do you have to change the name?
The craft scene is on fire these days, which means many more breweries are entering the segment and clamoring for unique and interesting names for their products (interesting note:  there are over 14,000 beer product names currently registered or in the process of registration at the US Patent and Trademark Office!). As the craft scene changes, protecting one’s brands through trademark registration is a greater necessity, much more so than even a few years ago. Unbeknownst to us (we’re brewers, not lawyers, after all), CBA/Widmer Brothers secured the rights to the mark “Alchemy”, and we need to respect their ownership of the mark. This is the “un-fun” part of doing business for any business, but alas, it’s a reality. Through a carefully crafted agreement with CBA/Widmer Brothers, we will finish out 2013 with “Alchemy Hour Double IPA” and introduce a new name in 2014. As stated before, it’s the liquid in the bottle that matters most!
Will Alchemy Hour Double IPA return in 2014?
Everything that you experienced with our Alchemy Hour Double IPA this year will be the same in 2014. The only thing changing will be two words:  Alchemy Hour. We remain committed to honoring our local surf community, so expect the same product and packaging with an altered name.
Are you pulling Alchemy Hour Double IPA from the shelves?
Nope—that’s your job! Kidding. In all seriousness, Alchemy Hour Double IPA will remain on shelves this season until it’s sold out or pulled by our quality control specialists (we take our freshness dates very seriously). If you’ve saved a bottle, congratulations—you’re now the owner of a GLBC collector’s item.
What will the beer be called in 2014?
At this time, we have not determined what we will call the beer next year. We will make sure that the transition is seamless and will make announcements in the coming months so that you are fully informed well ahead of its 2014 release.
Will the label be the same?
We may make very slight modifications to the label artwork (to jive with the new name), but the general appearance and spirit of the artwork will remain—our graphic designer invested a lot of time and creative energy into the label, and we love the design!
Will you change the recipe?
We have no plans to change the recipe.
Can I suggest a new name?
We will be using our in-house talent to name the beer, but we appreciate your enthusiasm and creativity!

Thank you once again for celebrating the release of Alchemy Hour with us this year. After 2013, the Alchemy “Hour” might be up, but we’ll all be enjoying the same sweet, hoppy flavors of our exceptional double IPA for as long as we can.

Great Lakes Brewing Company