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Stone Brewing sues MillerCoors over rebranding of Keystone light beer

DBR Staff Writer Published 14 February 2018

Stone Brewing has filed a lawsuit against MillerCoors alleging that the beer giant's rebrand of Keystone line is too close to its name.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in San Diego, alleges that MillerCoors is trying to rebrand its Colorado Rockies-themed Keystone beer as STONE. 

Stone Brewing alleged that Keystone’s marketing team has been making 30-pack boxes stacked with nothing but the word ‘Stone’ being visible.

Keystone’s social media was also accused of uniformly dropping the word ‘key’.

Stone Brewing CEO Dominic Engels said: “Keystone’s rebranding is no accident. MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected.”

Engels continued saying: “We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising. Frankly, MillerCoor should be ashamed.”

On the other hand, MillerCoors stated that Stone Brewing’s lawsuit is a publicity stunt.

MillerCoors spokesman Marty Maloney said: “Since Keystone's debut in 1989, prior to the founding of Stone Brewing in 1996, our consumers have commonly used 'Stone' to refer to the Keystone brand.

“We will let the facts speak for themselves in the legal process.”

This is not the first time that the issue of big beer versus small beer was raised. Last year, the Brewers Association started crowd funding campaign to buy AB InBev.

Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder Greg Koch released a video on Youtube, talking about the lawsuit. In the video he stated that all of this can be ended right here by simply putting the word ‘Key’ back in ‘Keystone’.

Image: Stone Brewing files lawsuit against MillerCoors. Photo: Courtesy of Stone Brewing.