Why you should trademark a beer name without a style

As a passionate brewery owner, you know that protecting your brand is a key to standing out in the bustling craft beer industry. Trademarking your beer names is a powerful tool to safeguard your brewery’s reputation and ensure that your hard-earned recognition remains exclusively yours. So here’s a tip to keep your brand agile and creative: consider leaving out the beer style from your trademark applications.

Crafting memorable and captivating beer names is an artform. In an ever-growing sea of breweries, the task becomes more challenging as each catchy name gets scooped up. By leaving out descriptors and trademarking just the beer name, you unlock the door to endless possibilities. Imagine having the flexibility to use that protected name for different beer styles – that’s a recipe for brewing success!


Let’s face it; brewing trends and tastes can change faster than a pint disappears on a Friday night. If you decide to trademark both the beer name and style together, you’ll be locked into that combination. So, if you feel like shaking things up or introducing a new flavor twist, you’ll find yourself in a bit of a pickle. But fear not! When you separate the beer style from the trademark, you keep your options open and your creative spirit free.

Example: Meet LEGALESE, the First-Ever Collaboration Beer between a law firm and brewery

Take LEGALESE, for example. For six years, Drumm Law has partnered with a local brewery to create a first-of -its-kind beer: a collaboration between a legal team and a brewery. We decided to trademark just “LEGALESE,” without specifying a beer style. Why? Well, if we had trademarked “LEGALESE Pale Ale,” we would be bound to brewing only that specific style under the protected trademark. By leaving off the beer style, we have the freedom to brew any beer under the LEGALESE name without worrying about forfeiting our trademark rights. We are preserving our brand’s identity without limiting our options.

Additionally, when you submit a trademark application with a beer style, it’s likely you will have an examiner at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requiring you to “disclaim” that style. In plain terms, this means you won’t have exclusive rights to the words that make up the beer style. By keeping beer styles out of the picture, you likely skip the disclaimer hassle and give your brand the strongest protection possible.

Trademarking your beer names is an exciting and crucial step toward protecting your brewery’s identity and brand recognition. Leaving beer styles off the trademark registration allows you to remain adaptable, embrace creativity, and capitalize on full ownership of your unique brand.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.