Pin It
Favorite

Rock Art Redux 

Side Dishes: Brewer vs. Monster continues

Last week, we reported that Hansen Beverage Company, maker of Monster energy drinks, sent a cease and desist order to Matt Nadeau, owner of Rock Art Brewery. Why was the giant West Coast biz picking on a little guy in Vermont? Its reps claim the name of his “Vermonster” barley wine would “undoubtedly create a likelihood of confusion” among customers.

Since then, the news has spread like wildfire. On Monday, the Boston Globe ran a short Associated Press report on the controversy. On Facebook, a group called “Vermonters and Craft Beer Drinkers Against Monster” has swelled to more than 1300 members. Nadeau — who was cranking his “rallying music,” Danzig, when Seven Days called — says he’s received pledges of support from beer lovers nationwide. “We’ve had people in Hansen’s backyard — San Diego, Los Angeles — proclaiming profound support,” he boasts.

But George Bergin and Jen Swiatek, owners of the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski, took their distaste for Hansen’s actions a few steps further — they eradicated all traces of Monster from their store, even though it was their best-selling line of energy drinks. “We took down all [Hansen] signs; we emptied the coolers; we took down their racks,” says Bergin.

How have customers in need of caffeine been coping? “When we tell them what’s going on, they’ve been very supportive of Rock Art,” Bergin reports. “They purchase different energy drinks.”

At the suggestion of his lawyer, Nadeau declined to expound on the details of Hansen’s most recent communiqué, but he made it clear the company’s response wasn’t what he’d hoped for. “It basically was ridiculous,” he gripes.

Although Nadeau knows he can’t win a “dollar for dollar” fight against the much bigger biz, he says he’s happy to be giving Hansen’s reputation a smackdown, Vermont-style: “It’s not a good place to mess with. I guess the English found that out as well.”

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It
Favorite

More by Suzanne Podhaizer

About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Bio:
Contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the former Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a goose,... more

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

foodie poll

How often do you eat out?

  • Almost never — a few times a year, at best.
  • Once a month or so, but I'd like to go out more.
  • I usually make it happen a few times a month.
  • Every week! I make a ritual of it.
  • A few times weekly — if you count takeout.

View Results

Latest in Food News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
e-newsletters:

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation