Guns N' Roses Settles Lawsuit Over Guns 'N' Rosé Ale

Colorado brewery Oskar Blues tried to make a case for the name of their prickly pear and hibiscus beer, but Axl and co. weren't having it.
Axl Rose
Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images

By the mid-1990s, Guns N' Roses was basically just Axl Rose, Axl Rose's bandanna collection, and keyboardist Dizzy Reed. The group had spent several years working on a followup to The Spaghetti Incident, but not a single song ever materialized. In 1999, Rose said that a reassembled version of Guns N' Roses would soon release a new record called Chinese Democracy.

A year passed, and Rose still hadn't finished recording it. Two more went by. Another. And then in 2003, Dexter Holland, the lead singer of The Offspring, announced that his band's next album would be called Chinese Democracy. "You snooze, you lose," he said at the time. "Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title." According to Rolling Stone, there were rumors that Rose sent Holland a letter warning him against using the name Chinese Democracy, but neither side confirmed it.


That would've been the best Guns N' Roses-related trademark dispute, but then a Colorado brewery said "Hold our beer. No really, hold our Guns N' Roses-themed beer." Westword reports that last August, Oskar Blues filed a trademark application for a beer that it called Guns 'N' Rosé. The brewery described the ale's flavor as "sticky prickly pear and floral hibiscus with a subtle hop profile," but it was the name printed on the label that quickly got Guns N' Roses' attention. The band's attorneys swiftly asked the brewery to knock it off.

According to the Denver Post, a December 2018 meeting between a representative for the band and the brewery's CEO went nowhere, and despite an official cease-and-desist, Oskar Blues was still feeling confident in the name. "Our client's use of GUNS 'N' ROSÉ for beer does not infringe GNR's marks. GNR does not own a trademark registration for GUNS N' ROSES for beer or any alcohol beverages," the brewery's attorney wrote. "GNR has not made any use of the mark GUNS N' ROSES in connection with alcohol beverages. It thus has no rights to the mark in connection with beer or other alcohol beverages."

Oskar Blues released the beer on draft and in canned six-packs in February, and the band's attorneys again told the brewery to quit it. "We do not accept the explanation that Oskar Blues named its product Guns 'N' Rosé based solely on the alleged color and taste profile of its beer," the band's lawyers wrote. "There are many words that Oskar Blues could have used to identify the purported 'rosé-style ale' of its beer; Oskar Blues specifically chose to use a variation of GNR's famous trademark instead."

In March, an attorney for the brewery offered to withdrawal the application for the name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and stop selling the beer and associated merch on or before March 31, 2020. Guns N' Roses officially filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement in May. But after months of back-and-forth, Reuters reports that the band's lawyers announced on Monday that both sides had reached an agreement, and that they were working toward dismissing the lawsuit.

Interestingly, in late July, Oskar Blues announced that its newest brew would soon be available nationwide, both on draft and in canned six-packs. "Tart, bright prickly pear meets floral hibiscus in this refreshing, spritzy rosé beer," it wrote in a press release. The familiar-sounding ale's name? Rosé for Daze.