Craft Brewers Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats

In July 2013, Lagunitas Brewing Co.'s owner, Tony Magee, received a cease-and-desist order from SweetWater Brewing Co. in Atlanta demanding that the Northern California brewing giant stop using the marijuana code "420" in the cryptic artwork and messaging found on many Lagunitas beer labels. Since the 1990s, SweetWater had made a beer called 420 Extra Pale Ale.

"I decided, 'You want to own 420, fine, you can have it,'" Magee says. "And it's true: They legitimately owned it."

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