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While they’re a successful brewing company with a legion of fans, sometimes it seems like Alpine Beer Company can’t catch a break. First they couldn’t get enough of the hops needed to create one of their fans’ favorite brews — the exquisitely bitter Duet IPA. In the midst of that, owner Pat Mcilhenney was going rounds with SDG&E over planned expansion of Alpine’s brewing operations. Now they’re catching flak over, of all things, the use of the name Ichabod.

Most think Ichabod Crane when they hear that handle. Mcilhenney certainly did when he decided to dub his company’s autumnal pumpkin ale with the same name as the character from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow who had a run-in with the gourd-hurling headless horseman. Disney later did their own riff on that story, and a big multibillion juggernaut is the type of entity one would expect to come after a small biz with a cease-and-desist.

Instead, it’s another American craft brewer: New Holland Company, the Michigan-based makers of Ichabod Pumpkin Ale, who trademarked the name in 2008. The significance of this timing? It was right after Alpine won a bronze medal for their Ichabod at the World Beer Cup Olympics of beer. The result of this legal maneuver, Alpine will not brew Ichabod this year.

Fortunately, there are a lot of other quality beers that will help to compensate for this latest loss. Bad Boy Double IPA and New Millennium Pale Ale were recently made available at their brewpub, and Whale Wet Hop Ale and Odin’s Raven, a Bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout, come out on October 7. Also, be on the lookout for Chez Monieux, a Belgian-style kriek that should be released sometime in November.

Alpine Beer Company is located at 2351 Alpine Boulevard.

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