A NON-ALCOHOLIC Scottish brewery has begun legal proceedings against BrewDog in a bid to protect the name of one of its beers.

The award-winning Jump Ship Brewing, run by Sonja Mitchell, launched a rhubarb and ginger pale ale under the Shore Leave moniker in mid-2022.

The second version in the Shore Leave series, a sour beer fermented with berries, was released in May of this year.

In July 2023, Mitchell discovered BrewDog had shared an image of a soon-to-launch Shore Leave beer with the proposed tagline “it’s time to jump ship”.

BrewDog has said it is the registered owner of the Shore Leave trademark and said Mitchell had failed to oppose the application. 

The National:

However, BrewDog said it had been unaware of Jump Ship and subsequently dropped the phrase "it's time to jump ship" from any marketing of its Shore Leave pale ale.

That product was released in September this year, with BrewDog also selling T-shirts, mugs and beanie hats with the branding.

Mitchell said cease and desist letters were sent to BrewDog at the end of August but claimed she had received no response so decided to take further action.

“I am incredibly disappointed that despite contacting BrewDog directly, I have been forced down the legal route to defend all that I and my team have built,” she said.

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"We have put considerable investment into the development of our Shore Leave series of beers – from the creation of the beer itself to the branding, packaging and distribution. We cannot afford to lose that.

"Jump Ship has developed a steadfast reputation for great-tasting beers with ethics at our heart and this is what we’re seeking to protect.

“At the point where BrewDog launched its beer, Jump Ship was the only brewer in the UK market with a beer called Shore Leave in production. The basis of our claim is that BrewDog’s actions cause a risk of confusion among our stockists and drinkers and this causes financial harm to our brand.

"This is a period of exciting and positive growth for Jump Ship with growing sales in the UK and beyond and this matter is one we’re keen to clear up.”

The claim at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court is to stop BrewDog from selling the Shore Leave beer on the basis the public could be deceived into thinking there is a commercial connection with the Jump Ship product.

BrewDog was started in Fraserburgh by James Watt (below) and his school friend Martin Dickie.

The National:

A spokesman for BrewDog told The Times: As the registered owner of the Shore Leave trademark in the UK, we are obviously surprised at this action, but also disappointed.

“Ms Mitchell might have challenged our trademark application months ago as is standard practice, but chose not to.

“We’ve sought to settle this matter amicably and offered a range of fantastic collab ideas which would have had a huge boost for Ms Mitchell’s brewery.

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“We even agreed not to use the phrase “Jump Ship” in our advertising as a gesture of goodwill. We’d much rather work with the industry than against it.

“We regret Ms Mitchell has decided to take this action instead of working collaboratively with us to help her business grow.”