Brewery’s ‘In-N-Stout’ stunt ends in pun-filled cease-and-desist from burger chain

In-N-Stout beer. Not coming to a store near you.
In-N-Stout beer. Not coming to a store near you. Instagram screengrab

Here’s a brew that won’t be headed to a beer aisle near you — at least not in the form it took on San Francisco-based brewery and distillery Seven Stills’ social media profiles last month.

The California beer maker will not be issuing their new beer in a knockoff can that would leave the company vulnerable to copyright infringement suits from another popular California company.

In-N-Out, the burger chain based in Irvine, issued a pun-filled cease-and-desist letter to Seven Stills, which previously teased the upcoming release of a “neapolitan milkshake stout” beer called “In-N-Stout.” The beer itself will apparently still be released, but under a different name, and without the homage to — or theft of, depending on your position — In-N-Out’s palm tree and arrow branding images.

The original post teasing the release had been “liked” 3,164 times as of Wednesday morning.

Seven Stills posted the sternly-worded cease-and-desist letter to their social media channels Tuesday, and challenged its followers to count the brewing- and distilling-related puns contained in it.

We count 9. Can you find them all?

A post shared by Seven Stills of SF (@sevenstills) on

“Please understand that use of our marks by third parties ales us to the extent that this could cause confusion in the marketplace,” the letter reads. “We hope you appreciate, however, that we are attempting to clearly distill our rights by crafting an amicable approach with you, rather than barrel through this.”

Seven Stills’ social media admins wrote that they counted nine puns throughout the cease-and-desist letter, which hopefully means an end to the burger-and-beer tension between the two companies.

That post had been “liked” 367 times on Instagram as of Wednesday. In a post on Aug. 10, Seven Stills told its followers that “In-N-Stout” would not be released under that name, but the new stout would be released on Thursday under another name.

“I hope I have the same attitude that In-n-Out has had towards it and have a good sense of humor... We’re obviously not trying to go there and sabotage In-N-Out’s branding,” Seven Stills co-founder told KPIX.

The In-N-Out burger chain has locations in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Texas and Oregon.

Similar tensions simmered last year at the height of Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” commercial series when a Minnesota craft brewery announced it was releasing something called Dilly Dill Mosaic Double IPA.

Budweiser sent their cease-and-desist in the form of a man dressed as a town crier, who walked into Modist Brewery, rang a bell and read from a scroll threatening Modist’s lawyer with the “Pit of Misery” if the brewery proceeded with selling that beer in packaging containing any sort of “Dilly Dilly” logos, branding or name.