GREENSBORO -- Natty Greene's brewery in Greensboro is preparing for a beer battle and it's up against a giant. Anheuser-Busch out of St. Louis put a stop on Natty's request to trademark its name, arguing Natty Greene's is too similar to "Natural Light's" many nicknames.
"We're going to stand firm on our belief that there's no confusion between General Nathanael Greene and what they're alleging. So, we feel very strongly that our name will stick," Kayne Fisher said, one of Natty's founders.
Fisher said the next move is to work with their lawyer to write up a response and send it to the patent office in the next couple of weeks. Last year, the brewery submitted trademark applications for its beer and its name. There were no oppositions to the beer names, but Natty's name wasn't as lucky.
"We feel that this is a little bit of a nuisance filing by them and unfounded, I mean, I don't know why they're wasting time on a smaller local brewery," Fisher said.
Natty Greene's is specifically named after General Nathanael Greene, the man Greensboro owes its name. Fisher said they chose that name because of its historical significance to the community.
"Our goal was to open a brew pub that Greensboro could be proud of and call their own, so much so, that we named our brewery after the namesake of our city," he said.
Fisher said the brewery does not plan on backing down to Anheuser-Busch. He said Natty's is his passion and his livelihood.
"For us to receive this opposition, as surprising as it is, it's a little bit of an annoyance. Well, it's a huge annoyance because we want to just continue growing our brand and now this is going to sidetrack us as we have to go through the legal process of this. That's something that we just never foresaw," Fisher said.
Fisher said there is one positive thing coming out of the trademark debate, all of the local support. He said the community is really rallying around the brewery.
"We're seeing that a lot of people will get in line and fight with us. Not only locally, but also in the craft beer community," he said.