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Brewdog teases Aldi IPA in response to copycat beer

Brewdog and Aldi’s design teams have been seemingly ripping off each others’ branding this week.

Brewdog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie will not take a salary this year.

Brewdog founder James Watt has released details of a new “Ald IPA” after someone pointed out the supermarket had created a beer of its own bearing a striking resemblance to the brewer’s flagship Punk IPA.

Called “Anti-Establishment IPA”, Aldi’s beer has a 3.2 rating on review site Untappd, and caught the attention of the craft brewery boss when a shopper Tweeted the can, claiming it was “legendary”.

Quick off the mark, Watt came back hours later with a mock-up for a “Yaldi IPA” beer can.

He later dropped the “Y”, after someone pointed out a smaller independent brewer already makes a beer called Yaldi.

Then things took another turn when whoever runs Aldi’s Twitter account suggested the supermarket might list Brewdog’s Aldi IPA.

Watt claims Aldi’s buying director has been in touch about the listing, while rival supermarket Tesco also wants to put the beer on shelf.

While Watt’s response to Aldi’s original take on Punk IPA has proved mutually beneficial for both companies, John Coldham, intellectual property partner at Gowling WLG, has said there may be another reason Brewdog chose not to challenge the supermarket on its product.

“Brewdog and Aldi are both very experienced at using social media to maximise their exposure,” he said.

“It’s typical of Brewdog’s style to deal with a copycat product using humour rather than legal letters, especially where its case might not have been that strong.”

It’s worth pointing out that the brewer hasn’t always dealt with copyright issues so lightheartedly. Brewdog quickly reversed a decision to take legal action against The Wolf pub in Birmingham following backlash on social media in 2017. Originally called The Lone Wolf, the pub had to change its name after the brewery’s legal advisers got in touch, as Brewdog was about to launch a gin with the same name.

After the owners took to Facebook to explain the situation, Watt apologised and offered to reimburse all rebranding costs.

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