This is from one of the New York Times blogs:
Last year, the Brooklyn Brewery began producing a refermented ale called Brooklyn Local 1, borrowing a method perfected in the Trappist abbeys of Belgium.
Steve Hindy, the president and cofounder of the brewery, said he and the brewmaster, Garrett Oliver, “had always been fascinated by Belgian-style beers and knew we could produce them here” — here being North 11th Street, within sight of the Williamsburg waterfront. In the eight-week process, the ale comes out of fermentation tanks flat and is allowed to ferment again in the bottle.
Working with his longtime designer, Milton Glaser, Mr. Hindy came up with an amber bottle design featuring a double embossed ring at the base of the neck. It was not unlike the single-ringed bottle used by the Westmalle Abbey in Belgium and by the New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, Colo. But it was not so much like the older design that Mr. Hindy discerned any potential problem.
Until Kim Jordan of New Belgium, an old friend, picked up the phone a few months later.
“Why didn’t you call me before coming out with this bottle?” he recalled her asking. She explained that she had been through protracted negotiations with the monks of Westmalle on the use of a ringed bottle in the United States. The result was the creation of a joint venture whose purpose was to own and control the ringed bottle trademark in this country. While Ms. Jordan was reluctant to sue Mr. Hindy, she told him it was her duty under the partnership to defend the trademark.
Mr. Hindy, already involved in trademark litigation of his own, concluded, “One of those suits is plenty.” He agreed to abandon the double rings and to redesign the bottles, which are made in Germany, at a cost of about $60,000 for new molds. The brewery started shipping out the ring-free bottles this fall….
Now, if I only had held on to the bottle in the photo, I would have had a collectors item. Lovely beer, however they package it!