Does Anyone Care That “The Original Olympia Beer” Isn’t Made Near Olympia?

Mar 19th '24

Olympia Beer was originally brewed in Tumwater, Washington — which borders Olympia, Washington.  In 1999, Pabst Brewing Company acquired the brand, and then shut down the Olympia-based brewery in 2003.  Olympia beer was then no longer brewed near Olympia, but instead was brewed in various locations around the United States. 


The can of Olympia Beer promotes the product as, “The Original Olympia Beer.”  The can also includes the slogan, “It’s the Water,” along with a picture of a cascading waterfall, both of which — at least according to the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Pabst — are references to the site of the original brewery.


In a class action lawsuit brought in federal court in California, the plaintiff alleged that the reference to “The Original Olympia Beer,” along with the “It’s the Water” slogan and the picture of the waterfall, misled consumers into believing that Olympia beer was, in fact, brewed with water from the Olympia area.


Several years ago, the court denied Pabst’s motion to dismiss, holding that, “It is plausible that a reasonable consumer could see the phrase ‘The Original Olympia Beer” and the waterfall image on the can and associate Olympia Beer with the Olympia area of Washington, especially in light of Plaintiff’s allegation that the waterfall image ‘looks just like the waterfalls’ associated with the original brewery in the Olympia area of Washington State.”  The court further explained that, “a reasonable consumer could construe the phrase ‘It’s the Water’ — when taken with the can’s labeling as a whole — to suggest that Olympia Beer is brewed using water from the Olympia area.”


Read the whol;e article in full, here.


Source: Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)


About GALA

GALA is an alliance of lawyers located throughout the world with expertise and experience in advertising, marketing and promotion law. GALA provides a worldwide resource to individuals and corporations interested in answers to questions and solutions to problems involving the complex legal issues affecting advertisers and marketers. GALA, a network of independent law firms, is neither licensed nor authorized to render legal services.


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