Boston Beer Company, the makers of Sam Adams, have filed suit in a Massachusetts court against San Francisco’s 115-year-old Anchor Brewing Company over a recent employee of Boston Beer who was hired by Anchor, violating a non-compete clause in his contract. Anchor is calling this a “nuisance suit,” saying they had to hear about it in the press before their legal team had even been contacted. Sounds like an east coast vs. west coast beer battle is a-brewin’!
Boston Beer, which has consistently been a national sales leader when it comes to craft beer, refers to 26-year-old district sales manager Judd Hausner as “a senior executive” in the suit, suggesting that he may have proprietary information that he took with him to his new job at Anchor, as the S.F. Business Times reports.
A spokesman for Anchor calls this “a joke,” and suggests that the bigger brewery purposely filed suit in Massachusetts rather than California, where non-compete clauses tend not to be supported in courts, and that their sole intent is to drain Anchor of money and resources. “Receiving this heavy-handed action from a company 20 times bigger than our own is intimidating,” says Anchor CEO Keith Greggor, “but we remain undaunted.”
Beer battle brewing between Bay Area, Beantown [SF Business Times]
Related: Watch David Burke Brew His New Peach Beer at the Sam Adams Brewery [Grub Street Boston]
Anchor Brewing Leads Bay Area In Sales