Monster Energy, an energy drink manufacturer owned by the publicly traded Hansen Natural Corporation, has stepped on the toes of beer lovers nationwide by sending a Cease-and-Desist letter to Vermont Microbrewery Rock Art. The product in question is the brewery's 10th anniversary "Vermonster," a delightful 10% 100 IBU meal of a beer. According to the legal geniuses at Monster Energy, the name Vermonster constitutes a trademark violation and will, in the eyes of the company, "undoubtedly create a likelihood of confusion." Right. Because I confuse giant, overpriced cans of chemically-infused sugar water with craft-brewed beer all the time.
So what's this have to do with snowboarding, you ask? A few things - first and foremost, my theory that snowboarders are in fact beer snobs has been well documented on this site. Any beer snob worth his or her chops should give the Vermonster a try - you won't be disappointed! Second, Rock Art rocks out in Morrisville, Vermont, a mere stones throw from the iconic slopes of Stowe and Sugarbush. Moving right along, Monster slaps its logo (which was obviously designed during the days when "extreme" was still cool) all over the action sports world, which is easy to do when your parent company is worth a billion dollars. Finally, it's my belief that the snowboard industry has always been for the little guy, even today when the sport is decidedly not little anymore. Someone get Jake Burton on the phone - Odds are he's on the side of Rock Art (although this is merely conjecture, as well as a deep seated belief in the man Jake Burton).
A boycott of Monster Energy and Hansen Natural products has already begun, and the issue has taken off in the blogosphere, on Twitter, and across Al Gore's Internet. A petition supporting Rock Art can be signed by clicking HERE.
For more information on the David vs. Goliath fight going on here, check out PJ's blog Starting a Brewery, Katie Pizzuto's writeup from Gonzo Gastronomy, and the Rock Art website itself. While you're at it, why not write Hansen Natural and voice your displeasure?