May 02, 2021
On April 27, 2021, Rockville, Maryland’s True Respite Brewing Company announced the introduction of their Bright Spot Beer Co. brand. This is a re-brand and re-launch following their loss of the Brawling Beer trademark during a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) proceeding. I had a chance to chat with the co-founder of True Respite, Brendan O’Leary, about their acquisition of the Brawling Bear brand and pivot to Bright Spot.
Brawling Bear began as a contract-produced brand in 2016 and opened up a production facility in 2018. Unfortunately, a series of delays prevented them from opening a Gaithersburg taproom to welcome the public. The brewery was hoping to get that done in 2020 and then, in an all too often repeated phrase, COVID happened. Facing the dual headwinds of the pandemic and a lawsuit seeking to cancel their trademark, Eric Rosenthal and Jenn Rogers of Brawling Bear decided to close up shop and contacted True Respite at the end of the summer in 2020 looking to sell some of their equipment. O’Leary, a fan of Brawling Bear, enquired into what Rosenthal had planned to do with the brand. “Brawling Bear was like an older sibling. We poured together at festivals before True Respite opened up and I had such a personal affinity for the beer and Eric and Jenn.”
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