Birmingham & Black Country

BrewDog 'hypocritical' in Birmingham Lone Wolf pub name row

Sallie McFadyen and her brother Joshua Image copyright The Wolf
Image caption Sallie McFadyen and her brother Joshua said they felt they had a good case against BrewDog, but did not have the funds to fight the brewer

Craft beer producer BrewDog has been branded "hypocritical" after lawyers asked a new pub to change its name.

Joshua and Sallie McFadyen were threatened with legal action a week after opening Lone Wolf because its name was the same as a BrewDog vodka.

They changed the name of the Birmingham bar but criticised the multinational firm, which claims a "punk" ethos.

BrewDog has since tweeted the bar can keep its name and blamed "trigger happy lawyers" for the letter.

BrewDog was founded by James Watt and Martin Dickie in 2007, spurred on by their self-professed boredom of "industrially brewed lagers and stuffy ales that dominated the UK beer market".

More updates on this and others in Birmingham and the Black Country

Image copyright Brewdog
Image caption Friends James Watt (left) and Martin Dickie founded Brewdog in 2007

The pair, from Peterhead, Scotland, went from selling their US-style craft beers from the back of a van at farmers' markets to employing more than 350 people, supplying Tesco stores and owning more than 20 bars, including several abroad.

Branding the global beer company hypocritical, 29-year-old Joshua and his 35-year-old sister, both from Birmingham, said: "They started in a similar way to us, starting small, then a bar and it went from there.

"They've gone against everything they stand for."

Image copyright Twitter

The pair said they registered their business, Lone Wolf, at Companies House in 2015 and opened a pub with the same name in January.

But after receiving a "cease and desist" letter from BrewDog's lawyers, they changed all "outward facing" branding to The Wolf but not the firm's official name.

Image copyright The Wolf
Image caption The pub opened on Constitution Hill in January

The dispute continued until Mr Watt tweeted on Monday that the pub could keep its name.

In a statement, he added: "It appears our lawyers did what lawyers do and got a bit carried away with themselves, asking the owners of the new 'Lone Wolf' bar to change its name, as we own the trademark.

"Now we're aware of the issue, we've set the lawyers straight and asked them to sit on the naughty step to think about what they've done."

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