Budweiser threw the gauntlet down this week over a California microbrewery’s suggestion that the “King of Beers” isn’t the sole ruler in all of Brewery Kingdom. A company called She Beverage Company — founded by women hoping to fix the dearth of craft brews marketed to them — thought “Queen of Beer” was a logical-enough slogan. The women applied to register the phrase a few months ago, but Budweiser’s trademark lawyers have gotten wind of it, and on Wednesday they filed a notice of opposition in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, seeking to block She Beverage’s application.
They argue that consumers will assume the “King of Beers” makes the “Queen of Beer.” It’s nothing personal, they say, but they must “prevent confusion.” (They also point out they’ve fought tagline copycats that use “queen” before.) That may all be true, but She Beverage coowner Lupe Rose gave the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a pretty spot-on read of how silly this all looks: “There is no ‘Queen of Beer,’ and we’re a female-owned company. I didn’t anticipate Budweiser getting their panties in a bunch.”