It's the story of a small business versus a corporate giant. And at the heart of the issue: a Missouri bar owner and a beer called "Frappicino."
If that name sounds familiar, that's because it’s the same name as the popular Starbucks "Frappuccino" drink — just spelled a little differently. (Via Starbucks)
But correct spelling or not, Starbucks still issued a cease-and-desist letter to Jeff Britton, owner of the Exit 6 Pub and Brewery near St. Louis, Mo., and creator of the beer. (Via Slate)
But first, we should back up a bit.
CNN reports in January of 2013, Britton mixed a vanilla creme and chocolate coffee ale together. According to customers, it tasted like — you guessed it — a Starbucks Frappuccino.
On the social beer app Untappd, those customers checked in as having had a beer called "Frappicino" at Britton's bar.
And that's where Starbucks caught wind of the one-off drink.
Eleven months later, Britton received a cease-and-desist letter claiming the name too closely resembled Starbucks' trademark and was "likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception among consumers." (Via Facebook / exitsix)
Britton says he was caught a bit off-guard.
"I am a little tiny business in a little tiny town, making little batches of beer." (Via KSDK)
But rather than get upset, Britton decided to have a little fun with the situation — by writing the massive coffee company a response letter sprinkled with sarcasm.
In the letter, Britton informed the company that he would no longer call the beer in question “Frappicino." Instead, he referred to it as “The F Word.” (Via Facebook / exitsix)
He also included a $6 check made out to the company — to reimburse it for the money he made off the three beers he sold. (Via Facebook / exitsix)
And, for good measure, he added the line, "We also promise to stop production of our 'Starbuck-McDonalds-Coca Cola-Marlboro Honey Lager' for fear of further repercussions." (Via Facebook / exitsix)
Britton, whose bar has been open for two and a half years and who has only four employees, says he was just joking with the letter and understands where the coffee giant is coming from. (Via KTRK)
But he added he still likely won't be drinking Starbucks for a while.