That’s right, we’re sorry to say that we’ll be discontinuing our bomber bottle beers. This isn’t a production update that we’re happy to be writing, but in the interest of transparency we want to keep everyone in the loop and explain what’s been going on here at Tempest HQ.
For the last few months, we’ve been working our way through some legal issues that arose as a result of our popular Bomber IPA. Back at the start of the year, we received a letter notifying us that “Bomber” in reference to beer was in breach of a trademark held by a large, regional English brewery, and that we were to stop using the name. We will not bore you with the details of the case, other than to say that in the end we chose not to fight against the trademark case, and instead retire or rename Bomber. As a small brewery, we did not have the time or the funds to go through a potentially complex and expensive legal battle.
As you’ll all know, Bomber IPA was named for the bottle it was packaged in, and so we tried to come up with other names; it is a difficult process trying to rename an existing beer brand and especially one that had become so iconic for us as Bomber IPA. “Big Boy IPA” was the name that we finally settled on; it’s another name for bombers, and it was already referenced in the blurb on the bottle anyway. So, it made sense, and job done….or so we thought.
After we had finally decided to go with the name Big Boy IPA, we made a simple name change to the “Bomber” label and got it ready to send off to our label printers. It was at this point, when we went to place an order for more of our 660ml bottles that we struck the next -unsurpassable – hurdle.
To preface, there is – was – only one manufacturer of 660ml Vichy bomber bottles that we use in the UK and our bottling machine has special change parts manufactured and calibrated to fit this size of bottle. So imagine our surprise, when placing an order for the necessary glassware to package our renamed Big Boy IPA, we discovered that the glass manufacturer had ceased production of the 660ml glass bottle… And not only that, there were none left in stock!
The glass manufacturers’ biggest customer for this product – another larger, regional brewery – had themselves stopped using them and it wasn’t in the manufacturer’s commercial interested to continue making them. Our demand is fairly low and the production quantity required was enormous.
So after a long, sorry saga, the end of Tempest’s 660ml bottling adventure was nigh. The 660ml bottle format has been officially retired, including Pale Armadillo, Long White Cloud, and Modern Helles.
With regards Bomber IPA, we loved the name and the label but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what the label and name is, it’s about the beer. The good news is that the recipe is alive and well. Bomber will be back and as excellent as ever, but in a different packaging size and with a new name of Soma IPA. So, watch this space…