Uinta Brewing Changes Name of Hop Notch IPA Following Trademark Dispute

Uinta Brewing has agreed to change the name of Hop Notch, the brewery’s flagship beer and one of the fastest-growing IPAs in the country, following a request from Massachusetts-based Notch Brewing, which owns trademark for the word “Notch” as it relates to beer and breweries.

Notch Brewing claimed that Hop Notch was creating marketplace confusion.

“We came to an amicable agreement,” said Chris Lohring, the founder of Notch Brewing.

According to a press statement from Uinta Brewing, the Hop Notch brand will be changed to Hop Nosh, but the brewery said the label imagery and recipe will remain unaltered.

“From the iconic florescent green package, adorned with two busy farmers loading a wagon full of hops, to the beer within, the brand hasn’t been altered,” the company stated in a release. “Let’s be clear: the beer is still the same, a ‘top-notch’ IPA that has been enthusiastically received by impassioned craft beer drinkers.”

Uinta Brewing abandoned its own trademark for “Hop Notch” on October 10.

Sales of Hop Notch have grown in 2013, particularly in Massachusetts. Year-to-date shipments of all Uinta beer into the Bay State were up 395 percent through May. According to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm, year-to-date dollar sales of Hop Notch are up 208 percent through October 6 at national multi-outlets and convenience stores.

In May, Uinta Brewing president Will Hamill told Brewbound that the company will sell 66,000 barrels this year. Hop Notch comprises about 35 percent of the brewery’s total sales volume. By comparison, Notch Brewing, which produces under contract at Two Roads Brewing in Stratford, Conn. and Mercury Brewing in Ipswich, Mass., expects to produce 2,000 barrels of beer in 2013.

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