Anheuser-Busch Delivers Cease-and-Desist in the Coolest Way Possible

And to soften the blow, a small craft brewery in Minnesota receives a shot at two free 'thrones' for the 2018 Super Bowl

by Michele Blood | Updated 03 Dec 2017 at 7:25 PM

A town crier in exquisite medieval garb paid an unexpected visit to the Modist Brewing Company in the up-and-coming North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The purpose of the visit on Friday? The delivery of a cleverly issued cease-and-desist request from brewing titan Anheuser-Busch.

As he theatrically unfurled a scroll, the actor delivered the request in Old English. The brewing powerhouse respectfully asked that Modist ensure that its new, aggressively hopped, intentionally hazy double IPA (India pale ale) be limited to a single run. Why? Because its name, Dilly Dilly, apparently infringes on a trademark-protected phrase.

To soften the blow, the crier even offered to treat two of Modist’s finest employees to “thrones” at the city’s 2018 Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium — where they could all enjoy some Bud Lights together.

The visit from Bud Light’s town crier was wholly unexpected, said Eric Paredes, Modist’s co-founder and chief manager.

“The visit was a complete surprise. We were expecting a C & D from them, given that ‘Dilly Dilly’ was trademarked with the USPTO under the Beer category,” Paredes told LifeZette. “They simply had to protect their trademark. However, we thought we’d get a visit by a team of suit-clad lawyers. The use of a town crier to deliver the message was surprising, refreshing, and altogether hilarious. It was also perfectly on brand with the rest of their campaign. We have to say, we were impressed by the sense of humor and class with which they handled the situation.”

The day of the crier's visit, Modist Brewing Co. launched a new beer affectionately dubbed Dilly Dilly. The phrase is an homage to Bud Light's series of commercials that feature the now-viral phrase; that is, what the "whazzup" catchphrase was in 1999, "dilly dilly" is for 2017.

Paredes describes Modist's Dilly Dilly as "the complete antithesis of Bud Light." The company settled on a name for the beer just a week ago, intending it as a good-natured poke of fun at Big Beer. Since its release on Friday, the brewery has already gone through half its stock. To avoid a private tour of the "pit of misery," it intends to retire the beer once they've served the final tulip.

The actor addressed those in the brewery as "friends of the crown," and began his speech by offering congratulations to Modist on the launch of its latest offering. The skilled thespian went on to indicate that although Modist's tribute was flattering, it should keep it to a limited-edition, one-time-only run, since the phrase was considered the "motto" of Anheuser-Busch's "realm."

"Disobedience shall be met with additional scrolls. Then a formal warning. And finally, a private tour of the Pit of Misery," intoned the town crier.

Though the performance was clearly a kindhearted gesture on the part of the beverage giant, it was also clear that Anheuser-Busch may not be as kind, should the brewery choose to shirk the request.

"Disobedience shall be met with additional scrolls. Then a formal warning. And finally, a private tour of the Pit of Misery," intoned the town crier.

The "Pit of Misery" is a reference to a second Bud Light commercial in which the phrase "dilly dilly" prominently appears. In that commercial, a prisoner briefly escapes a dungeon and returns with cans of Bud Light for his fellow prisoners. One of those prisoners landed himself in the Pit of Misery by foolishly offering a craft beer to the royals of the realm.

Modist sent Bud Light's crier home with a growler of Dilly Dilly and is proudly displaying the authentic-looking scroll on its menu board. About the company's intentions with respect to the crier's offer of two "thrones" at the upcoming Super Bowl, Paredes quipped, "This is a contentious subject right now! We're not sure yet what we'll do. If we do accept the offer, we'll likely host a jousting tournament in the back to see who gets to go."

There is no word on whether Paredes will be using a raven to deliver his decision to the Anheuser-Busch realm.

Michele Blood is a freelance writer with a passion for children's literature. Based in Flemington, New Jersey, she leverages her background in psychology in her work for publishers, businesses and NPOs.

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