Oasis, Texas Brewing Company (www.OTXBC.com) is a rapidly growing craft brewery located in the Texas Hill Country. Our brewery team is led by head brewer and partner Spencer Tielkemeier. He and his team were honored to have recently won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, the nation’s most prestigious beer competition, for their English-style bitter: London Homesick Ale. Called “perfection” in a recent review by Brewer’s Association President, Charlie Papazian, the OTXBC team has relished bringing an old-world style to the forefront of American craft brewing.
Our brewery was recently named Best New Brewery in Austin and in Texas by Austin Beer Guide and RateBeer.com, honors for which we are sincerely thrilled and extremely grateful.
An already great first year was made even better, as OTXBC just won Best New Beer in Austin 2014 for our Slow Ride Pale Ale by the editorial staff of the Austin Beer Guide. We are very proud of this beer and are excited to be distributing throughout Texas at major retailers such as: HEB, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Specs, as well as craft draught houses and fine restaurants. As so many Texas breweries have before us, we fully expect to continue this distribution into other states as our brands continue to grow.
As you may have heard, we’re currently being sued by New Belgium Brewing Co. in Fort Collins, Colorado over the use of OUR name Slow Ride. While New Belgium is certainly large and well-respected in our industry, we believe that we’re the rightful owners of the name Slow Ride. Simply put, we started selling our Slow Ride before, we believe, they had any intention of making a product under the same title. Our product hit the market in mid-May, prior to their application for a trademark. Their assertion that brewing activities didn’t begin until August is simply untrue.
They have attempted to frighten us with threats of legal action and intimidate us into accepting a joint-use agreement – overtures which we politely dismissed as bullying and declined. It soon became apparent that a fair and amicable solution was not in their interest. The notion that New Belgium tried to solve the issue, “amicably, brewer to brewer,” is simply untrue as our every communication with NB devolved into hostility.
Now a $200MM company is suing us.
We plan to keep making authentic and original craft beers, INCLUDING Slow Ride, as is our passion. However, we now find ourselves having to spend large amounts of money on legal fees to protect what we believe to be rightfully and obviously ours — money that should be put towards the growth and support of a small, growing business.
We believe our peers will see we are firmly in the right. This style of strong-arm intimidation should not exist in an industry whose lifeblood is communal support and collaboration. We hope that the industry as a whole will take notice of these aggressive tactics and think twice about supporting brands that employ them. Craft brewing is about community. It’s a shame to see a company who claims to be a part of that act with such hypocrisy.
Oasis, Texas Brewing Co.