Belgian beer loses battle against Coca-Cola

Tumulus 800, a local beer from Landen (Flemish Brabant, near Limburg) has to receive a new name after its Belgian brewers lost a battle initiated by Coca-Cola. The soft drink giants claimed that the name of the Belgian beer was too similar to Tumult, the name of a soft drink they distribute mainly in southern France.

Negotiations between Coca-Cola and 'De Kale Ridders', the brewery behind the blonde beer Tumulus 800, had been going on for several years. 'De Kale Ridders' lost the battle and will have to adapt the name of the Tumulus 800 beer.

Dominik Champagne of 'De Kale Ridders' told the VRT that the whole case will cost them 15,000 to 20,000 euros, cash they spent on lawyers, consultants and brand name specialists. "It was really a fight between David and Goliath. But we eventually managed to find a compromise."

800th anniversary

It is indeed not all bad news for 'De Kale Ridders' (the Bald Knights'). They can keep other beer names that make a combination with Tumulus, and only have to change the one that is completed by the figure 800. "We can't use numbers any longer, but we can keep other beer names. There are also some specific colours we are not allowed to use", Champagne explains. So it really depends how you look at it. Some say that 'De Kale Ridders' got Coca-Cola down on their knees as they only won partly.

'De Kale Ridders' from Landen started their business in 2009 and are now manufacturing Tumulus Aura, Negra, Magna and 800. The latter was only created in 2011 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the city of Landen. The name Tumulus was chosen as a reference to the tumuli or cairns in the region. Coca-Cola's Tumult is a beverage with a beer or fruit taste.