Brewery says Texas A&M issues warning over beer name

Foggy Noggin changed the name of their special Superbowl drink when a university threatened a law suit. - Courtesy photo
Foggy Noggin changed the name of their special Superbowl drink when a university threatened a law suit.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Foggy Noggin Brewing changed the name of their "12th Man Skittles IPA" special batch of beer after they said they received a cease-and-desist order from Texas A&M University.

The new name: Cease & Desist IPA.

The brewery will release it for a tasting noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Foggy Noggin's tasting room.

"We really want to keep things light and not let this stop us from having a blast watching the game Sunday," said Jim Jamison, manager of Foggy Noggin.

The brewery announced last week that they would release a small batch as a salute to the Seattle Seahawks, who will play against the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.

The Reporter attempted to contact Texas A&M for comment several times, but received no answer.

On Tuesday, the brewery announced that they had received a trademark infringement letter from Texas A&M.

"I was blown away that this university even heard about us using that name for our beer," Jamison said. "I mean, the beer we made will only serve around 55 people, it's a small keg we planned on filling."

Texas A&M sued the Seahawks for using "12th man" in February 2006. The university and the Seahawks ended up settling out of court with the Seahawks agreeing to pay a licensing fee and acknowledging Texas A&M's ownership rights of the trademarked phrase.

The beer was meant to be a special release only available during the Superbowl game this Sunday. Ingredients for the beer included Maris Otter malt, Skittles and Columbus Centennial hops.

"We request that everyone stop talking, blogging and posting anything that associates with the original name of the beer. Foggy Noggin Brewing apologizes for any perceived infringement on any trademarks, as we were only trying to have fun as the Seattle Seahawks get ready to play in the Super Bowl this Sunday," Jamison wrote an email to the public and to Texas A&M representatives.

"After the university received the email, the attorneys said they'd drop it," Jamison said.

Foggy Noggin isn't the only brewery to capitalize on the popularity of the 12th Man name - or get into trouble with Texas A&M over it.

Dick's Brewing Co. in Centralia released its 12 Man Pale Ale in December and the beer has quickly become one of its best sellers, according to The Olympian newspaper.

But the beer was in the works for two years, because of legal wrangling with the university. Dick's Brewing named their beer 12 Man, as opposed to 12th Man, the trademarked phrase owned by Texas A&M.

Origins of the term "12th man" aren't concrete to one company or entity, but the traditions in Seattle and College Station where Texas A&M is located date back decades.

In 1984, the Seahawks retired the number 12 to honor fans for making their stadium one of the noisiest.

Texas A&M traces their use to 1922, when an injury-plagued roster led the team to pull E. King Gill from the stands and suited him up to play. Gill never took to the field, but the legend strengthened campus-wide commitment to support the team.

The words "Home of 12th Man" adorn the stadium and the entire school is considered the 12th Man.



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