Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boston Beer Sues Anchor

And it used to be such a friendly business...

Boston Beer Co. is suing San Francisco-based craft brewing competitor Anchor Brewing Co. and a former Boston Beer marketing executive, alleging the executive violated a noncompete agreement by taking a job with the West Coast firm.

The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston, alleges that Judd Hausner knew his move might be construed as a violation of the noncompete, but told his Boston Beer supervisor upon giving notice that an Anchor employee had told him the agreement could not be enforced.

Hausner gave his notice at Boston Beer to take "a key sales and marketing position with Anchor, a direct competitor of Boston Beer," the suit states. Boston Beer brews Samuel Adams beers; Anchor's Anchor Steam beer is another widely distributed craft brew.

I predict that nothing good will come from this. And really, why is Boston Beer so scared of Anchor? Listen big craft brewers, you market share has come largely at the expense of the macros, not each other. Can't we all just get along? I mean, come on, how much special knowledge can a marketing executive have?

1 comment:

Mike Herron said...

I think it's a strategic move to sue to enforce the clause. If I'm Boston, I sue every time I can to enforce the clause (even if I plan to settle every time) so I don't get bit in the ass by a "selective enforcement" type of defense the one time I really need to enforce it.

That said, you make a good point about where the market share is coming from. And here's to more of it coming the way of those who make good beer.