Bath and Bristol Brewers in dispute over proposed name change

West Country brewer Bath Ales is disputing a Bath based brewery’s plan to set up a subsidiary company with a similar name.

Abbey Ales is trying to set up the Bath Brewing Company – which is quite similar to Bath Ales but has been based in Bath for 16 years, and now wants a name more synonymous with the City.

Alan Morgan added that the company would be used to make speciality and seasonal beers, the first of which was 3.8% ABV Somerset Ale.

He explained:

“We have been brewing in Bath since 1997 and our unique selling point is that you have to be within a 15-mile radius of Bath to have an Abbey Ale beer.

“We decided we wanted to go further without not losing the unique local selling point, so we formed and registered the Bath Brewing Company Limited with Companies House early this year.”

Alan Morgan, Managing Director

Soon after, Morgan said he received an email from Bath Ales stating that, should he proceed with the move, a ‘cease and desist’ warning will be issued. Morgan said that while legal advice was being taken, no Bath Brewing Company Beer was yet being brewed.

Morgan continued, 

“It seems strange to me that a Bath based brewery, brewing beer in Bath, cannot call itself Bath Brewing Company because a brewery that has never brewed in Bath objects!”
Alan Morgan, Managing Director

Bath Ales managing director Roger Jones was quick to play down the dispute, stating that he a hoped a “quick and simple resolution” could be reached.

“We have known Alan for a long time so direct communication is the best way to resolve the issue.”

Jones explained that many people will know the story of when Bath Ales was founded in 1995, giving his company Prior Rights.

“At the outset we thought we had secured premises to brew in the city, only for that to fall through at the eleventh hour.

“We purchased the Hop Pole in Bath as long ago as 1997, quickly followed by the Salamander. More recently, we opened the Graze Bar, Brewery and Chophouse – so we have had a presence in the City for many years.”

Roger Jones, Managing Director at Bath Ales