Beyoncé-Inspired Beer Leads to Cease and Desist for Craft Brewer
Well, that didn’t last long: At the end of last month, Brooklyn-based Lineup Brewing announced that it would be selling cans of Bïeryoncé, a 5 percent ABV pilsner named after Beyoncé herself. It's a purposeful tribute to the Queen B, its can emblazoned with a design that recalls the cover of her self-titled album from 2013.
It seems the tribute has struck a nerve. On Sunday, Pitchfork reported that Lineup had been hit with a cease and desist letter over the beer.
Though Katarina Martinez, Lineup's head brewer, had been homebrewing Bïeryoncé since February of 2016, the beer made its commercial debut at the end of last month. Martinez had been inspired to create a beer in Beyonce’s name after missing out on a concert of hers even though she had tickets.
“I mean, she’s the 'Run the World (Girls)' artist," Martinez explained to MUNCHIES over email on Monday. "A feminist icon. I am one of very few women in my industry. I’m working hard to make beer gender-neutral and enjoyable for all. It’s a little ironic to see lawyers jump all over a small woman-owned-and-operated business in this situation. In saying that, I highly doubt she had anything to do with it. She’s busy being awesome and taking over the world."
Martinez claimed she couldn't disclose when the cease and desist was issued. MUNCHIES has reached out to Beyoncé's representatives for comment.
Lineup Brewing is no stranger to celebrity tributes. Take a look at "I Bet You Think This Beer Is About You," a 5.5 percent ABV IPA that pays homage to Carly Simon, or Under Pressure, a 6.2 percent ABV English Pale Ale described as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury's "delicious baby" (uhhhh).
Martinez is unsure about what she'll name the beer instead. "We’ve thrown a few ideas around," she wrote MUNCHIES. "Some of my brewery fans are annoyed and want me to name it after a different artist that might appreciate the gesture more. I’m still a huge Beyoncé fan, though, and would like to keep it on theme. Maybe I’ll name it 'Sorry.' Just kidding! They’d probably come after me for that, too."
Hm... maybe Luther Vandross?