CHANDLER, AZ - A local brewery is taking on a much bigger brewer over the right to use a beer glass.
The SanTan Beer Company in Chandler has been asked by The Boston Beer Company to stop using their traditional SanTan glass. The Northeast company, who brews Sam Adams, cited the similar look of the SanTan glass to theirs as the reason behind the request.
“It’s ironic that Sam Adams calls themselves a craft brewery and then goes after a fellow craft brewer,” said Anthony Canecchia, who owns SanTan Brewing Company.
The Boston Beer Company ordered a cease and desist last year. However, Canecchia said the beer glass he uses is different than the design Sam Adams chose.
“Each one is hand blown by an artisan, the Sam Adams glass is a machined glass,” he said.
But the Boston Beer Company felt the design was too similar. The company has a patent on the Sam Adams beer glass.
“We spent years working on creating this one with scientists specifically for Boston Lager, which is why we were able to get a patent for it,” said Michelle Sullivan with The Boston Beer Company.
Both sides said the other one wasn’t willing to talk and settle the problem. The Boston Beer Company filed their complaint with the International Trade Commission on March 18. The commission will now decide whether or not to investigate the claim, and if so, will be able to make the final decision.
“This is the only time someone has violated the patent,” Sullivan said.
But Canecchia and his friend, Peter Sciacca, who helped designed the glass, said they aren’t doing anything wrong.
“Our base is 40 percent larger, our weight of our glass is 78 percent heavier, our volume is 25 percent bigger,” Sciacca said.
This isn’t the first time the SanTan Brewing Company has come under some scrutiny, however. Last year, ASU reached out to them because they named one of their beers ‘Sun Devil Ale.’ SanTan changed the name to ‘Devil’s Ale.’
In this case, Canecchia hopes he will get to keep using the same style beer glass he’s had since 2007.
“The fact that ours has similarities to Sam Adams I think is coincidental,” he said.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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