New beer brand registrations double in under a decade as craft brewing booms


Stores like Aldi are adding a wider range of craft beers (Source: Getty)

The craft beer trend has led to the creation of so many weird and wonderful new brews that the number of registrations in 2016 was more than double the number in 2007.

According to figures from law firm RPC, there were 1,983 applications to register a new beer trade mark in 2016, increasing 104 per cent since just under a decade before when there were 968.

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RPC said that a major factor in the growth was the uptake of the craft beer boom by supermarkets with the likes of Aldi and Tesco recently expanding their own-brand ranges to include "craft" style brews, as well as stocking a wider variety of existing beers.

The number of independent UK breweries also jumped, leading to a corresponding increase in the number of new beers. Last year 530 new breweries opened, up 33 per cent on the previous year.

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“The craft beer sector has been booming - and now there are not only a number of new entrants, but also more established breweries, larger drinks corporations and supermarkets all wanting to establish a share in the market," said Jeremy Drew, a commercial partner at RPC.

But he added that it can be tricky to trade mark things like taste, meaning most brewers have to protect their names and designs.

“Craft beer brands are often prized by consumers for their unique methods of brewing or the original ingredients used. However, much of this does not lend itself to protection by registration and so the brand name and look of the packaging takes on much more significance in terms of protecting advantage at the point of sale.”

Some craft beers have already been the subject of trade mark disputes in the past few years, including Brewdog's 'Elvis Juice' and Tempest Brewing's 'Bomber IPA'.

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