Big Sky Brewing, Anheuser-Busch Settle ‘Hold My Beer and Watch This’ Dispute
Missoula’s Big Sky Brewing Company has reached a settlement agreement with Anheuser-Busch. Neal Leathers, one of the founders of Big Sky Brewing Company explained what the disagreement was about in the first place.
"Well, in early December, Anheuser-Busch put a series of ads on YouTube, little 30 second spots, that had as their sort of tagline 'hold my beer and watch this,'" Leathers said. "We've been using 'hold my beer and watch this' as a slogan around here for, I don't know, at least like seven or eight years."
Leathers said that his company has no problem with snowboarders, mud-boggers, and the like using phrases that Big Sky Brewing uses for marketing. The problem with Anheuser-Busch was that they were another brewery attempting to use the same tactic in competition.
Leathers made a point of saying that he doesn't want to be one of those companies that attempts to enforce trademarks abusively and pointed to others in the industry attempting to trademark the word 'moose,' as an example of overreach.
Anheuser-Busch agreed to take down all of the aforementioned ads, but there was no word of any financial compensation.
"I'm really glad we retained the rights to this," Leathers said. "We wish it hadn't happened. Anheuser-Busch got an awful lot of play in a short period of time with their kind of finances, and bringing in celebrities, and what not and all of that. So I feel it's sort of like someone took your car and got a pretty good joyride with it, but at the end of the day, you got it back in good condition, so you're gonna keep on using it and that's kind of where we are today."
Leathers says the phrase “hold my beer and watch this” will continue to be featured on Big Sky Brewing Company coasters, cans, t-shirts and other merchandise.