Munster, Indiana – The parties in this dispute were two beer makers, Three Floyds Brewing Company of Munster, Indiana and White Flame Brewing Company of Hudsonville, Michigan, both of which recently manufactured an imperial stout that each named “Black Flame.”
Three Floyds, Indiana’s second-largest brewer, made its Black Flame as a limited-run beer. Microbrewer White Flame, which opened in 2012, also produced a limited run of 600 bottles of a beer called Black Flame. White Flame’s version, which is aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels, was made to celebrate the company’s third anniversary.
White Flame learned of the Three Floyds beer in February and e-mailed Three Floyds to discuss the identically named beers. Bill White and Andy Steenbergen of White Flame later drove to Indiana to meet with Three Floyds.
Negotiations included lunch and beer and were concluded with the much-larger Three Floyds agreeing to discontinue use of the name after its current run of Black Flame had been completed. The matter was settled with a handshake.