SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/CBSLA) — A battle over burgers and beer branding is brewing.
Burger giant In-N-Out sent San Francisco’s Seven Stills Brewing and Distillery a cease-and-desist order over its planned “In-N-Stout” beer.
The brewery first raised eyebrows about a month ago when it shared an image of its latest brew, a barrel-aged “Neapolitan milkshake” stout, on Instagram.
The packaging bore a striking resemblance to the home of the Double-Double.
“We just try to get really creative with all of our packaging,” says Seven Stills co-founder Tim Obert, who acknowledged the design was based off an In-N-Out cup.
Obert found the corporate response both swift and surprising. “This was the fastest we’d ever got a cease and desist from somebody,” said Obert. “They sent us that C&D basically the next day.”
The legal threat was firm but also humorous, boasting several beer-related puns.
This is not the first cease-and-desist letter Seven Stills has received for its packaging designs, including one from the maker of Maker’s Mark. Oddly enough, they haven’t heard from the maker of Swedish Fish over a beer brewed using the candy.
Obert says it’s about trying to grab attention for a great product in a crowded field of breweries. “They all started as the little guy, so they’re just trying to protect what they built,” he says.
The “Not An In-N-Stout” beer, a vanilla/chocolate/strawberry imperial stout clocking in at a powerful 13.5% ABV, is being released today, with free In-N-Out burgers for visitors to the brewery.