Legally copying recipes

One of wife’s friends owns a restaurant around Portland OR and wants to eventually start a nano brewery on their premises. We have been talking to local breweries about scaling our homebrew recipes and contract brewing with them so we can call it our own and not have to pay the licensing costs at this time. I am wondering if there are any legal issues on using either a clone recipe or any recipe for that matter. I am assuming you can’t own a specific recipe as long as you change the name considering that there are only 4 raw ingredients. Any help with this would be much appreciated and thank you in advance.

Change s quantity change a brand add this or that change a mash temp or boil time. Don’t think you can own a recipe. Who the heck is going to know what your recipe is anyway. I wouldn’t worry about.


Thats what I was thinking. It’s not like a restaurant can own a recipe.

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Signature dish = signature brew

You do have to report the ingredients to the ATF for approval. Some ingredients are pre-approved.

Right, but hops yeast water and barley?

All beer has the same ingredients

[quote=“brew_cat, post:2, topic:25488, full:true”]
Who the heck is going to know what your recipe is anyway.[/quote]
I was referring to this statement. But yeah, I agree. You can simply change any amount of any ingredient and not have the “same” recipe.

You wouldn’t want to very directly take on a well known popular recipe with your clone. … Cough, Three Hearted Ale, Cough…

If you make a delicious ale, that just happens to taste exactly the same as Heady Topper, Don’t call it Teddy Hopper; you’ll get your @$$ sued off. Call it “Sofa King Amazing” IPA and roll in the dough,with legally plausible deniability.


Thats an amazing name idea!


Not going to pretend to offer legal advice, but the same “recipe” made on two different brewing systems, especially on a commercial scale, with different water, will produce different beers. It’s actually REALLY HARD to scale up a recipe to a commercial volume and have it turn out exactly the same, to where you might think it were the same beer. I honestly wouldn’t worry about it, as long as you don’t claim it to be a clone of another beer. Let it ride on its own merits.

Now if you advertise it as a recreation of a particular beer and trade off its name, then you’re in some legal hot water for sure.

That would be a pretty lame brewery that would claim they are brewing clones. Why would you think that would be a good business plan anyway


Oh geez… so now we go down this road… there are only so many malts, hops and yeast… don’t forget the water to recognize, for a copy righted brew… Don’t you think the same thing goes on in music? Only so many notes, modes, time signature and composers? You are a simple home brewer… get close to a grain bill… call it your own… Don’t even try to pass it off as"clone"… Be you, not them… eh? Sneezles6

Exactly! I just wanted to make sure that any similarity wouldn’t raise an issue. Every system is going to be different and produce a slightly different beer.

Yeh sneezles61! It’s quite the can of worms. But with this obsession, it is also incredibly exciting to think that the general public could be potentially sampling and purchasing your recipes and coming back for more . Must be such a great feeling. It’s rather exciting to me and a wonderful opportunity


Please don’t pigeon hole yourself… Do as you you say… ENJOY !! I wonder… how many grain bills have been copied? Even the peeps that “registered” their stuff… I really don’t think they have a one and only… Sneezles61


Right. It’s constantly changing and as brewers, we improvise and use the ingredients that we have on hand.

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Kind of hard. To licence a home brew recipy. Just chance some things here and there give it a different name