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Thread: Naming Frustrations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Buffalo, NY

    Naming Frustrations

    Hi All,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. In the process of getting off the ground. My partner and I will have our business plan completed by the end of this week, and we're looking at our final 3 buildings tomorrow before we make a decision on the location. After brainstorming for 4 months, we CANNOT come up with a name that is not Trademarked. We have thought up at least 100 names over that time that we liked and could build a theme around, but it seems like everything is taken.

    It's really driving me mad. There are so many good company names that we've come up with, but some small brewery (or winery, or distiller) somewhere is using it not as their brewery name, but just the brand of one of their beers. I've read you can try and work with these people if it isn't a very popular beer, or if they are on the other side of the country, but I don't know if that's worth the trouble.

    How many of you struggled badly with finding a name that wasn't already trademarked as a brewery or beer? I realize there's a trademark section, but this is more about asking how people dealt with trying to be creative when it seems like nothing is left?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Providence, RI
    Make one up. Probrewer is turning into livejournal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Mason City, IA
    Think local. A local town or county name or geographic feature maybe?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Brunswick, GA
    As for the geographical names, have to be careful if you plan to go out of your area. Can't trademark geographies. For instance, Jekyll Brewing is in Alpharetta, GA. Jekyll Island is an coastal island in Georgia about 5 hours away. If a brewery decided to open up on Jekyll Island and call itself Jekyll Island Brewing or something similar, they would have a hard time fighting them in court. Seems too risky to me so I would stay away unless I only plan on doing brewpub, tasting room, etc.

    Think local landmarks, historical references, maybe a twist on those?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Surname/Last Name

    Look back in history at all the great pre prohibition breweries in America. Many of them were simply named by using the owners/brewers last name. I personally think that using a last name/family name for a brewery looks very professional. It can give the brewery's brand longevity in the market place and can help it survive over long periods of time with market/consumer habit fluctuations. If you give the brewery and product names very edgy/trendy names I believe it will be hard for you to have brand survival over decades or generations of ownership. Just my 2 cents on the topic.
    Last edited by Catfish002; 03-21-2017 at 10:30 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Original Brewing Company
    Glacier Brewing Company

    "who said what now?"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Northern California, USA

    Naming challenges also

    Yes, I am having the exact same problem. It is truly disheartening. We've come up with so many awesome names, and it almost always gets dropped because of a trademark issue. Also, it's difficult or not possible to trademark exact geographical place names. There's concerns with using the family name in regards to not being able to protect usage of it as a small player, possible issues if the business is sold, and risk of your name being dragged through the mud if something unfortunate happened and there was serious litigation. And made up word combos can be cheesy and annoying unless it's really clever, which is tough to find. Also, nice to have a story, even a token one, in the name, rather than it just sounding good or being great marketing.

    Truly exasperating. Definitely been trying to think outside the square (lots of thesaurus usage, chopping up words/names and rearranging components, etc. And of course every name has haters and lovers.

    At the end of the day, we'll find something to call our own, and I hope you do soon as well. As someone pointed out to me "It doesn't have to be a great name, just a good name".

    Good luck!

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