Foreign owned Labatt sues Canadian owned and Ontario based craft brewer Brick Brewing, maker of Red Baron Beer



    
    /NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWS SERVICES OR FOR DISSEMINATION IN THE
    UNITED STATES/
    

    WATERLOO, ON, May 19 /CNW/ - Brick Brewing Co. Limited ("Brick" or the
"Corporation") (TSX: BRB) announced today that it has received a Statement of
Claim commenced by Labatt Brewing Company Limited ("Labatt") in Canada's
Federal Court claiming, among other things, infringement of Labatt's Brava
beer trademarks, depreciation of the goodwill associated with the Brava marks
and that beer consumers are confused between Brick's Red Baron beer and
Labatt's Brava beer. Labatt is seeking an interim, interlocutory and permanent
injunction against Brick as well as damages or an accounting of profits from
Brick's sales of Red Baron since adopting its new packaging. When Labatt
bought Lakeport in 2007 they acquired the Brava brand.
    Brick recently received funding from the Government of Ontario to market
their brands and used a considerable amount to re-launch the Red Baron brand
in bold new packaging with 4.8% alcohol by volume. Brick also invested in
billboard and print advertising along with a new radio campaign. Labatt is
claiming that the colour scheme and bottles are too similar to Brava and this
could result in irreparable harm to the Brava brand. Red Baron currently
represents less than 0.5% of all sales through The Beer Store ("TBS").
    George Croft, Brick's President & CEO said "Red Baron is a great tasting
premium blonde lager beer at the lowest legal price established by the
Government of Ontario, of $24.95 plus deposit for 24 bottles. Brick paid a
considerable amount to participate in The Beer Store lobby display program and
has seen positive results." Labatt has a significant ownership interest in
TBS, and ironically also claims that the inability of TBS staff to properly
sort bottles has resulted in Red Baron bottles being returned to Labatt.
"Brick pays TBS an additional fee to sort the Red Baron clear bottles, so we
find this issue to be very frustrating", added Mr. Croft.
    "Their claim is without merit, we do not believe consumers are being
confused and we tried to talk through the situation with Labatt and avoid an
adversarial relationship", said Mr. Croft. "Brick is disappointed that despite
our best intentions, Labatt has launched this lawsuit. Notwithstanding the
differences in packaging, based on The Beer Store retail layout and policies,
consumers normally have to ask for Red Baron by name, which makes confusion
over packaging seem unlikely. The brands and packaging are different and we
believe that consumers choose Red Baron because it is a premium blonde lager
at the lowest legal price and brewed by a Canadian owned and operated
company."

    About Brick Brewing

    Brick Brewing Co. Limited is Ontario's largest Canadian-owned and
Canadian-based publicly held brewery. The Company is a regional brewer of
award winning premium quality and value beers. The Company, founded in 1984,
was the first craft brewery to start up in Ontario, and is credited with
pioneering the present day craft brewing renaissance in Canada. Brick has
complemented its Waterloo family of premium craft beers with other popular
brands such as Laker, Red Baron, Red Cap and Formosa Springs Draft. Brick
trades on the TSX under the symbol BRB. Visit us at www.brickbeer.com

    Forward-Looking Statements

    All statements in this press release that do not directly and exclusively
relate to historical facts constitute forward-looking statements as of the
date of this press release. Forward-looking statements generally can be
identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will",
"expect", "intend", "anticipate", "seek", "plan", "believe" or "continue" or
the negatives of these terms or variations of them or similar terminology.
Although the Corporation believes that the expectations and assumptions
reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance
should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are not
guarantees and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions,
which may cause actual performance and financial results to differ materially
from such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included
in this press release are made only at the date of this press release and,
except as required by applicable securities laws, the Corporation does not
undertake to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect new
information, future events or otherwise.

    %SEDAR: 00003334E




For further information:

For further information: George Croft, President and Chief Executive
Officer, Tel :(519) 576-9519 Ext. 247, E-mail: info@brickbeer.com

Organization Profile

Brick Brewing Co. Limited

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