SAN DIEGO, California — One of San Diego's largest craft beer makers is suing one of the world's largest beer conglomerates.
Stone Brewing Company Monday announced a lawsuit against MillerCoors over its rebranding of Keystone beer," which now features a large "STONE" title on its cans.
The San Diego-based brewery's complaint alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition among its claims.
Dominic Engels, Stone Brewing's CEO, said the cans are "aggressively deceptive advertising."
"Keystone's rebranding is no accident. MillerCoors tried to register our name years ago and was rejected. Now its marketing team is making 30-pack boxes stacked high with nothing but the word 'STONE' visible," Engels said in a release. "We will not stand for this kind of overtly and aggressively deceptive advertising.
"Frankly, MillerCoors should be ashamed."
In a YouTube video posted Monday, Greg Koch, Stone's executive chairman and co-founder, said the craft beer heritage they have developed is being threatened by "Big Beer."
"We believe that MillerCoors is intentionally and deliberately trying to create confusion in the marketplace in their Keystone brand," Koch said. "You can see very clearly they are just trying to line this up and push the word 'Stone.'
"Hey, in the world of beer the name 'Stone' is ours."
In the video, Koch holds up a can of Keystone Light before joking it featured "two words that you would never see together in association with our company" and performing a spit-take with the beer.
KGTV in San Diego reached out to MillerCoors for a response but did not hear back.
MillerCoors owns more than 50 beer and alcoholic beverage brands, including San Diego-based brewery Saint Archer.