By John Ensor •
Published: 25 Oct 2023 • 20:57
Wear Beer logo.
AN expatriate Spaniard living in the UK has launched a boutique brewery in Sunderland but the big boys from Mercedes aren’t too happy about it.
A Sunderland-based micro-brewery has faced the wrath of automobile powerhouse, Mercedes-Benz. The car manufacturer has challenged the brewery, claiming their logo bears a resemblance to the iconic Mercedes emblem according to the Sunderland Echo.
‘Wear Beer’ is the brainchild of Valencian-born Julio Romero Johnson, 33. Julio went on to explain: ‘I registered the logo on [July 21]. I then got a two-month period where it’s public and anyone can oppose it if they wanted to. It was the last day of that period when the letter arrived (from Mercedes-Benz).
The communication was a ‘notice of threatened opposition’ from Mercedes-Benz’s legal team. The letter urged Johnson to reconsider the logo’s design, hinting at potential legal implications.
Julio explained the inspiration behind his logo, ‘It’s just the three-pointed star and it says Wear Beer with a great big worm, so I don’t think anyone will get confused between this and a Mercedes dealership.’
The design connection goes even deeper. ‘The actual design of the logo is from my uncle in Spain, he’s a graphic designer and he decided to help me out,’ Julio revealed.
The emblem depicts the Lambton Worm coiled around a red three-pointed star. The star design pays homage to the International Brigades symbol, who valiantly opposed fascism during the 1936 Spanish Civil War.
The logo serves as a bridge between Britain and Spain, reflecting the many Britons, including several from Sunderland, who fought in Spain. Julio commented: ‘It’s trying to link them, it’s just that link between my home country and my adopted country.’
Operating from a pub’s basement in Sunderland, Julio remains undeterred. ‘I was like “flipping heck that’s not what I was expecting.” I was thinking what do I do? I wanted to oppose it, but it was frightening. It’s a lot of money to fight them and then if you lose you have to pay them.’ Reportedly Mercedes-Benz has total assets of in excess of €26 billion.
Julio, who produces around eight or nine casks per batch, boasts four primary beers: a bitter, a pale ale, stout, and IPA. As a light-hearted aside, he mentioned, ‘I drive a Peugeot. If Mercedes offered me a free car every five years I’d be quite happy with that.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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