StrangewaysMany great partnerships begin for obvious reasons; the people are already friends, related, or met in a school/group/club where they had something in common. Makes sense, right?


Well, some partnerships form in situations that are a little more… unexpected. For example, one recent beer pairing came to fruition when both of the breweries were being sued. Nothing like a little legal stress to bring two guys together.


The breweries, Richmond’s Strangeways Brewing Co. and Colorado’s Strange Craft Beer Co., were both involved in a dispute with a Massachusetts-based home-brewing supply company, Strange Brew. Strange Brew sent a cease-and-desist letter to Strange Brewing because they felt the company had infringed on Strange Brew trademarks. Then, it filed an opposition to Strangeways trademark registration.


The breweries were not happy, so they filed petitions asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Strange Brew’s trademark. The Strangeways case even ended up in U.S. District Court because Strangeways felt the Strange Brew trademark was fraudulently obtained because the home-brew supply store doesn’t actually brew beer.


So, what happened? They all worked it out. Strangeways kept its name, logos, and slogan. Strange Brewing Company changed to Strange Craft Beer Company. And the owners of both breweries, Neil Burton and Tim Myers, became pals because of the whole ordeal.


Burton and Myers decided to celebrate the end of their legal troubles by brewing a beer together. The end result is a Belgian dubbel that has both Virginia and Colorado-grown wildflower honey. They’re brewing it at Strange Craft Beer Company in Denver and it will be available on draft in their tasting room soon. Unfortunately, because of certain distribution laws, Strangeways won’t be able to sell the beer in Virginia and they won’t see a cut of the sales revenue. Instead, the guys plan to collaborate again soon and make another beer that can be sold through Strangeways.