Batemans Do a Brewdog

Omnipollo have had to stop brewing Yellow Belly because Batemans have copyrighted their Yella Belly Gold and got lawyers involved. Like anyone’s going to confuse the two.

That seems to happen to Omnipollo quite a lot. They had to rename their Noa series to Aon since there was a Noa soft drink on the market.

So, next battle with Aon Insurance then…?

Ha ha … I’m tempted to head to a Twigmans pub in Lincolnshire … ask for a yellow belly then kick off when I’m handed some pissoi hot golde and not an impy.



Why did this only happen now and not when they released it in 2014? Or in 2015? Or in 2016? Or in 2017? What’s special about this year that they decided to go after them?

Such bullshit. At least the US trademark holder is being really cool about it. I suppose they’ll just rename it for the European market? They surely won’t stop brewing such a popular and highly revered beer.

Interestingly Batemans pretty much dropped the Yella Belly name a few years ago when they launched Gold. The outcry in Lincolnshire meant they it was always called Yella Belly here but I thought they used the Gold name outside Lincolnshire.

I guess there is that argument that copyright holders are required to use or lose it.

Meanwhile that American lot seem happy with the publicity.

Thought from the heading that you meant Bateman’s had actually brewed a decent beer at last. Sadly not.


The plot thickens… Batemans have responded. If what they say is true then Omnipollo have some explaining to do. One of the breweries isn’t tell the full story here but it’s impossible to say which it is currently.

EDIT: Sorry non-facebook users. They posted it as a note on their FB page which apparently you need to be logged in to view.

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I’m with Batemans on this. Such a shitty situation for them, and unbelievable they have been trolled with fake reviews on Untappd, facebook etc… by people unhappy that a beer they like will be called a different name. Unlike most other people I read the entire BBC article, which included a quote from Batemans that they were completely unaware of Buxton’s Yellow Belly until they were contacted by Omnipollo. Here’s the statement:

"A note from Stuart Bateman

I just wanted to write a quick note to our social followers to put the record straight on the situation that has developed over the weekend regarding our Yella Belly Gold.

From the looks of comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram there are some misunderstandings out there regarding the branding situation of that beer. I thought it may be useful to share the facts.

The most recent telephone conversation we had with Omnipollo regarding Yellow Belly was a couple of months ago. I was contacted by a very nice lady from Omnipollo with an enquiry about our registration of the Yellow Belly name. I explained to her that we did have a protected registration, however we were always open to discussions as to how the situation could be sorted out amicably.

We have had similar situations to this in the past and we have resolved them amicably to the satisfaction of both parties.

I handed the enquiry onto the people who deal with our brand names and we expected a response but were not contacted further. So, Omnipollo were contacted once more asking if they would like to discuss how the situation could be resolved. They responded saying they would but nothing more was heard until our social media channels lit up on Thursday.

Since then we’ve been getting quite a bit of abuse for something we don’t really feel is our fault but has become our problem.

It has been stated that they tried several times to negotiate a resolution, but myself, nor the people dealing with the branding issue have heard anything.

Batemans has been brewing Yella Belly Gold some 20 years, initially as a pale ale flavoured with Madagascan vanilla pods. The name was chosen to reflect our Lincolnshire roots as a family business that has been brewing in Wainfleet since 1874. After the vanilla ale we developed the brew to create an organic bottled beer, that was available in supermarkets across the UK. More recently we have developed it further into today’s 3.9% blonde beer. Long story short … Yella Belly Gold has been a long standing, popular and successful brand for Batemans.

During the 144 years since our brewery was founded, four generations of the Batemans family have worked hard to maintain our independence. We have done this because we consider ourselves to be the anthesis of the large corporate brewers.

Instead and as it happens ironically, we very much feel we are on the same side of small independent craft brewers like Omnipollo and Buxton. We’ve got a track record of sharing beer names that we have registered, we’ve happily swapped brewing knowledge and advice with other brewing start-ups, we’ve even shared Batemans yeast with other brewers.

It’s a shame no one got back to us, as they said they would, so this could be sorted out."

Really not cool at all what Omnipollo has done.


Just crazy. No way someone could confuse 3.9% Golden ale, with 11 or 12% impy. Labels are not similar. Even the name is not the same. It’s nice how they use term “people who deal with our brand names” for lawyers. And makes me wonder how are these situations exactly resolved? What’s there to resolve?

I’m not a fan of Omnipollo by any means, but this just seems like BS.

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And their retailers face-to-face, if Theydon_Bois’ posturing is to be believed.


I think its logical to assume Omnipollo were looking, ironically, to copyright the name Yellow Belly in relation to beer, but discovered Batemans beat them to it.

When contacted Batemans went through the normal process of passing the matter to their copyright lawyers.

Omnipollo decide to rename the beer, not before playing the victim for social media effect (they couldve simply said the beer was being ‘refreshed’ / ‘rebranded’ giving no reason why).

I wouldnt be surprised if they’ve coprighted all the names of their beers like Noa or Lorelei so they could protect them in the future.

Noa is Aon now because of trademark issues with an energy drink called Noa.

Aha yes I remember. Perhaps that is what started all this off. A girl in the office being told to check the copyright on all the names to prevent it happening again

I honestly feel a lot of these problems are actually caused by “the people who deal with our brand names”. It’s understandable why breweries would want to outsource this sort of thing - especially as intellectual property law is a complex issue and there’s so much bollocks spouted about it. But it seems to me that the “professionals” - whether it’s specialist lawyers or some sort of agency - just seem to go into autopilot with a one-size-fits-all process that often seems to cause more problems, usually accompanied by a shitstorm of negative publicity.


After having read this I still feel like it’s Batemans that are the ones being the bigger dickheads about this whole thing. I want to know why they couldn’t reach an amicable agreement on use of the name.

Nobody ever confused the two beers, nobody ever confused it with the Irish brewery, nobody ever confused it with the American cidery. I just think the whole thing is such bullshit. Such a shame for such a well regarded beer.

I think Batemans were just trying to do what they believed was right. They knew nothing about the beer & had never heard, seen or tasted it before. They owned the copright to a beer called Yellow Belly, and another brewery makes a beer called Yellow Belly. So in their minds, it was the professional move to protect the copyright. Just as Omnipollo would’ve done had they successfully coprighted it, else why make the request?

Batemans are old school, i think we can cut them a little slack. After all Omnipollo should’ve checked the name out beforehand.

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You’ve used that word in 3 posts now (perhaps seeded by @BeardedAvenger’s initial use), yet this has nothing to do with copyright, this is a trademark issue. Don’t confuse the two IP types. Batemans have no option but to enforce their own trademark rights, else they lapse. That process necessitates the use of lawyers, to complain that they brought lawyers to a legal fight is childish. The fact that Omnipollo considered trademarking the name implies that Omnipollo think it’s both a trademarkable name and one worth owning the rights to. In which case, they must support Bateman’s right to the name. Yet they don’t; that’s hypocrisy. As the Buxton letter quite clearly proves, Omnipollo had no leg to stand on - they were unambiguously in the wrong. End of. Sure, it could have been handled better, but Bateman’s Did Nothing Wrong.