A tiny brewery in suburban St. Louis is giving Starbucks a subtle “F” you.
When Exit 6 Pub and Brewery named a stout beer “Frappicino,” the Seattle-based coffee giant sent the brewery’s owner, Jeff Britton, a cease-and-desist letter because it owns the trademark for the similar-sounding “Frappuccino.”
According to the coffee chain, the beer’s name could cause confusion among customers thinking it is affiliated with Starbucks. In response, Britton sent a letter addressed to “Mr. Bucks,” which went viral, thanks to its sarcastic tone. “We never thought our beer-drinking customers would have thought the alcoholic beverages coming out of the tap would have actually been coffee from one of the many, many, many stores located a few blocks way . . . so that was our fault,” he wrote. “We also promise to stop production of our ‘Starbuck-McDonald’s-Coca-Cola-Marlboro Honey Lager’ for fear of further repercussions.”
Britton also sent Starbucks a cheque for $6 to cover what he called the profits from the three pints of the beer sold. The beer has since been renamed “The F Word,” and the first batch sold out within three hours.