Affixing "Brooklyn" to your product name seems to be worth its weight in marketing gold, so it's understandable that two gin makers are going head to head to see who gets to keep the title. The players are Brooklyn Gin and Breuckelen Gin, and though they seem distinct enough, Brooklyn Gin manufacturer Angel Santos claims that mix-ups between the two have caused his Florida-based operation "irreparable harm."
In April 2009, Santos filed papers to trademark the name "Brooklyn Gin," and began selling bottles in June 2010. However, Breuckelen Gin maker Brad Estabrooke claims he had been brewing the stuff in March, before Santos's name change had officially gone through. And besides, they're spelled totally differently! Estabrooke could also argue that Santos's gin is "geographically deceptive," seeing that Santos lives in Miami. Estabrooke said, "It doesn't make sense. How could someone who doesn't live in Brooklyn try to squash me when I’m making a product right here?"
Santos reportedly contacted Estabrooke after trying to push his gin to Brooklyn purveyors, only to be told that a "Brooklyn gin" had already been there. After meeting the two couldn't settle their issues, so Santos hired a lawyer and now it's on. While the case relies on whether or not customers will actually get the two products confused, both sides seem to be pandering to authenticity. Brooklyn Gin recently wrote on Twitter that they are a "hit in Park Slope," while Breuckelen Gin's website advertises, "We make our delicious gin from organic New York grains entirely within our Brooklyn location." Estabrooke at least has the Google upper hand; when doing a search of "Brooklyn Gin," Breukelen Gin is the first thing to pop up.
Liquor store owner Adam Goldstein said, "If it’s going to be a street fight, [Breuckelen] has an edge because he’s making it right down the block." Sorry, but when soccer stars start naming their kids after your borough, that hometown solidarity just doesn't have the same ring to it.