‘Victory for common sense’: Thunder Road

Thunder Road Brewing Co has welcomed its Pacific Ale court win against Stone & Wood, while the Northern Rivers brewer maintains the proceedings were about “making a stand for originality and creativity”.

Thunder Road CEO Philip Withers said the company was very pleased with the Federal Court’s decision.

“We have always believed that Stone & Wood was wrong to bring this action against us and defended the matter vigorously,” he said.

“Developing new and exciting beers for consumers is what Thunder Road, and the craft brewing industry is all about. We feel vindicated in our actions and believe the decision is a victory for common sense and for craft beer drinkers throughout Australia,” said Withers.

The case brought by Stone & Wood “wasn’t about winning or losing”, according to co-founder Jamie Cook.

“It was about making a stand. Making a stand for originality and creativity. There are a lot of businesses in this industry that search for new spaces and create new directions,” he said.

“We think it’s fine for the rest of the industry to capitalise on the momentum created by that if it’s done in a respectful way.

“We also understand it’s a cluttered market and occasionally we unknowingly step on each other’s toes. In those situations we can usually sort it out brewer to brewer.

“Our stance was about trying to maintain a respectful industry,” said Cook.

Wild Yak Pacific Ale
The ruling would appear to clear the way for Carlton & United Breweries to persist with its use of ‘Pacific Ale’ on its new Wild Yak beer.

That is, if there was any doubt about CUB’s ability to use Pacific Ale, given its pre-existing ownership of the Pacific Beverages trade mark.

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