Harvester Brewing must change its name

Portland’s award-winning, all-gluten-free brewery, Harvester Brewing, is changing its name to avoid legal issues raised over the name “Harvester” from a California winery, Hope Family Wines. At heart it’s a trademark dispute; Hope Family Wines has a trademark for the word “Harvester” that applies to “wines” (and only “wines” as near as I can tell from searching, not “alcoholic beverages” or anything).

Harvester Brewing


Harvester Brewing is making the most of it and opening up the virtual suggestion box for new names:

If you were disappointed that you missed out on the opportunity to help name the first dedicated gluten-free brewery in the United States then we have some great news. Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles, California has decided that our use of Harvester will create brand confusion and has demanded that we change the name of our brewery, despite being in a different trademark class. Rather than spend time, money, and energy focused on a lengthy legal battle we have decided to ask our fans to help us choose a new name.

Hope Family Wines finds the use of “Harvester” in any form “unacceptable” so ideas like New Harvester Brewing or G.F.Harvester Brewing will not be permitted by Hope Family Wines. We would like it if the new name worked well with our love of farming, farmers, and tractors so we can continue using our tractor logo but we will consider non-tractor related ideas too.

Please submit new name suggestions to contact@harvesterbrewing.com

While I understand the need for a company to enforce its trademarks at the risk of losing them, this case seems a little odd. First, the trademark domain—only “wines” in this case—seems limited to go after a brewing company. Next, as Brewpublic points out, the winery currently does not have a wine actually named “Harvester” on the market; they were apparently developing a box wine with that name several years ago but it sounds as though it were never released.

Then of course one has to wonder if breweries such as Asheville’s Green Man Brewery will also receive legal notices from Hope Family, as they have a beer named “Harvester.” Certainly the same “logic” that applies to confusing a wine with a brewery would extend to confusing a wine with a beer. Time will tell.

In the meantime, if you have suggestions for Harvester for a new name, that also allows them to keep their tractor logo, be sure to send them their way.

McMenamins’ 13th annual Roadhouse Brewfest at CPR

McMenamins Cornelius Pass RoadhouseComing up on Saturday, July 19th, McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse is hosting their 13th annual Roadhouse Brewfest—and this year for the first time they have invited outside breweries to come pour at the fest (previously it was only CPR and other McMenamins breweries on hand). The Brewfest starts at noon and runs all day long. Here’s their description that was sent out:

Taking place at Imbrie Meadow, the Roadhouse Brewfest is a day of great beer, live music, family activities and food. Sip brews from McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Brewery, John Barleycorns Brewery and Oak Hills Brewery, and from our friends at Three Mugs Brewing Company, Heater Allen, Ambacht Brewing, Vertigo Brewing, Golden Valley Brewery and Two Kilts Brewing Co. Guests are invited to tour the brewery and distillery, chat with enthusiastic brewers and distillers (don’t forget to collect your passport stamp!), and wander the  six-acre former farmstead, a colorful oasis with buildings and barns dating back to the mid-1850s. On the grounds you’ll also find Imbrie Hall Pub, which was built from original timbers from Portland’s Henry Weinhard’s brewery.

Admissions is free and open to all, though you need to be 21 and over to drink (obviously) and to taste the various beers you’ll have to purchase tokens.

Here’s the beer list:

  • Cornelius Pass Roadhouse: Grapefruit Session Ale
  • Three Mugs Brewing: Blue Me Away
  • Header Allen: Heater Allen Pils
  • Ambacht Brewing: Ambacht Ginger Farmhouse Ale
  • Cornelius Pass Roadhouse: Edelweiss Helles Bock
  • Vertigo Brewing: Friar Mike’s IPA
  • John Barleycorns (McMenamins): Two Falcons Double IPA
  • Golden Valley Brewery: Brune De Bourgogne
  • Two Kilts Brewing: Two Kilts Scottish Ale
  • Oak Hills (McMenamins): Morning Blend Espresso Stout

This looks to be a great time, so mark it off on your calendars and head out to Hillsboro if you can!

The Session #89: Beer in History

The SessionI completely missed The Session on Friday because I was distracted by the holiday as well as the book project, but it was on a similar topic to the one we had two Sessions ago: Beer in History, hosted by the Pittsburgh Beer Snob, Bill Kostkas.

At many points in history you can look back and find alcohol intertwined. A lot of times that form of alcohol is beer. Beer is something that connects us with the past, our forefathers as well as some of our ancestors. I want this topic to be a really open-ended one. So, it should be fairly easy to come up with something and participate.

Do you want to write about an important beer event with great historical significance? Famous figures that were brewers? Have you visited an establishment that has some awesome historic value? Maybe a historically-themed brewpub? I wouldn’t be surprised to even see a few posts on Prohibition. It doesn’t really matter when it comes to history!

It’s late, and I’m largely focusing on the last big push for the book, but this Session was tailor-made for this beer history I’ve been writing, so an anecdote from Bend, Oregon beer history.

During Prohibition, there appeared an article in the Bend Bulletin offering up suggestions for the use of confiscated homebrew. Central Oregonians (along with most of the rest of the population) thought so little of Prohibition that many articles of the time were blatantly tongue-in-cheek, offering the nudge-nudge wink-wink sensibility that reads like something from The Onion these days. This “suggestion” from that article is simply perfect in that regard:

The other suggestion was that the beer be sprayed on trees in the Deschutes national forest to eradicate pine beetles. Even if the beer did not kill them, it would stupefy the insects so that they would be unable to pick out the valuable trees for their destructive work, it was pointed out. A certain forest ranger volunteered to do the spraying.

I’ll just bet he did.

In Bend: 3rd Annual Whole Foods Market Summer Brewfest

Taking place in Bend today, yet another example of Bend’s great beer scene—the 3rd Annual Whole Foods Market Summer Brewfest! How many groceries/markets do you know hold their own brewfest?

Today’s fest takes place from 1 to 6pm at east Bend specialty market, and has some 20 breweries on hand pouring beer. Pricing is some of the cheapest you’ll find at a fest these days: $5 entry which nets you a glass and 2 samples, and additional tokens are only 50 cents. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Humane Society of Central Oregon.

3rd Annual Whole Foods Market Summer Brewfest

A trio of Twilight Ales (minuscule vertical)

Deschutes Brewery Twilight Summer AleWhen I had received the three Twilight Summer Ales from Deschutes Brewery, I noted that they all were freshly bottled within days of receiving them (all bottled on the same day, April 25). I thought it might be interesting to drink each of the three Twilights at different times, sort of a slow-motion mini-vertical tasting, to see how they changed over the few weeks the experiment would be carried out. So, I did just that, took some notes on each one as I drank it, and I’m finally writing up those results.

The beers were all stored cold so as to keep them as close to a “control” as possible.

Date: May 1. Notes:

(Aroma) Green hops, mustard greens, floral and mildly tropical. Nice toasty malts, moderately sweet. (Taste) Bready luscious malts on the tongue, crisp herbal hoppiness. Not terribly pungent though it smells like summer.

Date: May 15. Notes:

(Aroma) Herbal, mustard/wild mustard greens, spicy. Crystal malt nose, mild, sweet, bread crust. I think it got spicier/less “green” and fruity. (Taste) Malty and a touch thinner than previously, I think. Crusty bread and a clean bitterness that’s a bit herbal but also more neutral (clean).

Date: June 2. Notes:

(Aroma) Green and herbal but not really spicy, more like fresh-cut grass in that it’s fresh and refreshing. Malts a little more pronounced, with bready sweetness. (Taste) Malt at the forefront, toasty caramelized grains, with English-spicy hop bitterness that’s crisp and clean. Luscious with a bit of a dry finish.

I think it’s pretty clear that this was quite a bit more hop-forward barely a week after being bottled, with a fascinating progression from floral and fruity(ish) to spicy to herbal and mellow and more English in character. The malts do not follow a similar pattern, instead becoming more pronounced as the hops fade and not tasting “old” or “stale”, instead which I think actually improved (the maltiness, not necessarily the overall beer).

Not a bad progression by any means, though I could see how different people and tastes could appreciate different levels of age more (or less). You like a malty Twilight? Aim for a month old or more. More hop-forward? As fresh as possible. Neither of these bits of advice should be a revelation… nor should you think too hard on it. Just go pick up some Twilight Ale.