Beyonce sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Brooklyn maker of Biëryoncé

Jay-Z and Beyonce leaving the movies on his birthday

Beyonce has a long history of homage-ing other artists’ work. She has a history of taking credit for other artists’ work, or for giving credit to other artists in the smallest way possible. It’s just one of those things, you know? I loved Lemonade as much as the next person, but Beyonce often gets credit or takes credit for the work of dozens – if not hundreds – of other people. Bey is also a Taylor Swift-level protector of her own brand and how her name is used. Beyonce, it seems, is not above sending a cease-and-desist letter to a Brooklyn brewery to get them to stop calling a new beer “Biëryoncé.”

Beyoncé is strictly sticking to Lemonade, and not Biëryoncé. The singer, 36, reportedly issued a cease-and-desist letter to the Brooklyn’s Lineup Brewing after they created a beer, called Biëryoncé, inspired by the singer, according to Pitchfork.

“As a Hispanic, female-run business, I am very inspired by her so I thought I’d pay homage,” owner Katarina Martinez told the online publication. “We’re disappointed she didn’t take it as a compliment, but oh well. It was fun while it lasted!”

The now-defunct beer features a design inspired by Beyoncé’s self-titled 2013 album. The one-time batch is reportedly still available in New York while supplies last. Beyoncé is not the first artist that Lineup Brewing has paid homage to. Beers dedicated to Carly Simon (“I Bet You Think This Beer Is About You”), Notorious B.I.G. (“Notorious”) as well as David Bowie and Freddie Mercury (“Under Pressure”) are also available.

While there may be a beer named after the 22-time Grammy winner, Beyoncé may be more a fan of wine. In August, the mother of three shared a series of photos from her date night with husband JAY-Z in which she enjoyed a glass of red wine at their “longtime favorite” restaurant Sushi Park in West Hollywood.

[From People]

Would people really have thought that Beyonce somehow endorsed Biëryoncé? Perhaps. Maybe Katarina should have merely homaged Beyonce by naming the beer some kind of pun on one of Bey’s song titles. Drunk In Beer Love. Beer the World. If I Were A Beer. Or something with Beyonce’s lyrics? I Beer On Them Haters. Tryna Beer On the Thunder. OH I KNOW! Call it Beerhive. That’s actually more catchy than Biëryoncé. CALL IT BEERHIVE!!!

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Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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23 Responses to “Beyonce sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Brooklyn maker of Biëryoncé”

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  1. Kaiser says:

    Beer Drunk In Love, that’s what it should have been. But I still love Beerhive.

  2. Kitten says:

    So lame to go after a small business smdh.

    • Annabelle Bronstein says:

      It does suck. Unfortunately our trademark/copyright laws force the holder to vigorously defend their brand at all costs, or lose their protection. So I always view these stories through that lens.

    • Branvoyage says:

      Right! That’s what I was thinking. She should’ve taken it as a compliment. It was absolutely not affecting her brand or empire in anyway. Jerk.

      If I was a beer is great!
      Beerhive too. It could have honey flavors and notes of orange…

    • Erinn says:

      I mean – it’d be different if it was just one product named after a song, or something like that. But when your whole brand is built around a celebrity name pun, then it’s more questionable. You’re CLEARLY benefiting from linking your brand to them – otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen that business name. So while some celebrities might find it complimentary – I can’t give any shade towards the ones who don’t. Their brand is now linked to the company (who again, clearly benefiting from the association) and I don’t blame them if they don’t want that assumption made by customers. It’s their name, their image – other people shouldn’t be trying to profit from it.

      • Kitten says:

        But…it IS just one product (not a product line) named after a Beyoncé song, no? It says here that she had a list of beers all inspired by different artists (Bowie, Carly Simon, etc) and one beer inspired by Beyoncé called “Bieryonce”. Unless I’m missing something???

        Craft beer has a storied history of playing with pop culture imagery–Lineup is hardly the first to do that. Also notable: none of the other singers who’s song names were used in a pun fashion felt the need to send a cease and desist. It’s a tiny microbrewery FFS–the very definition of a small business. It’s not like it’s Budweiser or some giant conglomerate that could easily shell out the cash for TM rights. I doubt Lineup even has a canning line or distribution. I mean, damn. So yeah sure it’s her “right” but it’s an extreme reaction for sure.

      • Annabelle Bronstein says:

        @kitten with those facts, Bieryonce may have been able to legally prevail (maybe). But the problem is that most small businesses cannot afford the legal representation that it would require to fight it.

      • Veronica says:

        I’d imagine it’s more about the precedent it sets. For high-revenue business, copyrights are something that have to be strictly protected to avoid others being able to cash in on the name. If you allow even smaller businesses to cash in on those names, it can open up argument for larger ones to get away with it.

        Honestly, as somebody who works for a Forbes 500 company that trains on software for small business, the owner should have known better. There’s SO MUCH red tape when it comes to running a business that you have to be careful not to step on a lot of toes.

  3. me says:

    Well she can’t stop someone from naming their daughter Beyonce and then naming a company after her can she? Is there really only one female named Beyonce in this world? Yes, I know, she’s the most well known Beyonce but still…

  4. Clare says:

    Eh, shitty move, given she has built a career on ‘inspiration’ from others. See the single ladies dance, for example.

  5. JA says:

    She like her marriage is now a business and she will treat it as such. Beyonce is no longer a person but a persona. I preferred when Bey was a bit more real but whatever…

  6. African Sun says:

    She’s right to go after them, they are getting paid on her name without cutting her a cheque.

    Sounds like smart business to me.

    The owner of the business is a bit naive to me. If she is a member of the Beyhive, she knows how vigourously she guards her image. She has a 24 hour a day personal photographer for crying out loud. She’s not going to allow this without signing off on it herself.

  7. Mary Sia says:

    In my country there is a soft drink/ lemonade brand called John Lemon. They got cease and desist from Yoko Ono and apparently they have to do sth with their name now…

  8. Electric Tuba says:

    The company also uses images of Ron Swanson and other characters to selll other beers. All of their names are goofy.

  9. pinetree13 says:

    I’m disappointed. Way to be humorless. I mean, com’on!!