ASU had enough of brewery’s beer run - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

ASU had enough of brewery’s beer run

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Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 2:15 pm | Updated: 3:35 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Our View: At first, SanTan Brewing Co. seemed poised to make some nice lemonade from a rather smelly lemon that Arizona State University handed out over the name of a local beer - without making any sour faces along the way.

At first, SanTan Brewing Co. seemed poised to make some nice lemonade from a rather smelly lemon that Arizona State University handed out over the name of a local beer - without making any sour faces along the way.

But brewery owner Anthony Canecchia decided he couldn't just quietly swallow what ASU was serving to the public, and so he highlighted some hypocrisy in what ASU will or will not condone when it comes to its Sun Devil mascot.

The first that anyone heard of Canecchia's spat with ASU was when the Chandler-based brewery announced a two-month contest to rename what now is known as Sun Devil Ale. ASU had put Canecchia on notice that he was using a trademark name without the university's permission, and the brewer learned that ASU would not grant him a license after the fact.

Sure, ASU has allowed Sparky and the Sun Devil name to appear on any number of products and businesses. But the university was drawing a hard line at this alcoholic beverage to avoid encouraging underage drinking, officials said.

We thought Canecchia had come up with a clever way to take advantage of the ASU crackdown to generate publicity for SanTan Brewing and to get the public to do the work of picking a new beer name - a task that another business might hire a consultant to do at hundreds of dollars an hour.

However, as Tribune writer Ed Taylor reported, Canecchia just couldn't accept ASU's justification for refusing to work with him when the young alumni association was actively promoting the launch of another beer, called the Devil's Pitchfork, that's made by a rival microbrewery.

ASU has its excuses: The university can't trademark "devil's pitchfork," and the alumni association is a private group made of people over 21 years old. But come on. We all know that if ASU President Michael Crow's administration started applying pressure consistent with its message about Sun Devil Ale, the alumni group would get the devil out of any association with a competitor's brand of beer.

Still, Sun Devil Ale soon will be a footnote of history, and Sparky won't be directly tied to SanTan Brewing anymore. Anyone want a pint of Lucifer's Solar Suds?

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