Easy Sport Recreation Ale…..I mean Rally Ale.

Rally Ale on the left, Recreation Ale on the right
It was almost exactly one year ago, when Boulevard released Easy Sport Recreation Ale to much fanfare. Easy Sport was marketed to the active adult wanting a low calorie, low carbohydrate beer. Their original press release stated “a beer brewed for runners, cyclists, hikers, pickleball players, karate masters, yogis, disc golfers, ball golfers, yard mowers, jazzercisers and people who are just plain thirsty.” Presumably they were wanting a beer with flavor to fill a niche that a certain ultra-national-conglomerate, ultra-watered-down, ultra-cheap-beer currently monopolizes and sells in skinny cans. 

Last summer I enjoyed the salty and tart notes this beer provided, and as the weather has finally started to turn for the better, I decided I was going to get into shape. A good workout isn’t complete without an ice cold adult beverage to accompany it with, and being stuck inside the house is damn boring. So off to purchase some Easy Sport I went. I grabbed my hazmat suit and gas mask from my bug-out bag, and headed to Bubbles. To my surprise, Easy Sport is no longer called “Recreation Ale,” it is now “Rally Ale.”

Most people think of the Rally Monkey, Rally caps, or Rally flags, when they hear the term. Being from the Varsity Blues generation, I immediately think of the term “Puke and Rally,” but I’m classy like that. Not to mention, how awesome would “Puke and Rally Ale” be?

The name change doesn’t surprise me. There are over 6,000 breweries in the U.S. meaning there are tens of thousands of trademarked beer names. This problem has been going on since at least 2004, when Avery and Russian River, both had a beer named Salvation. Instead of letting the lawyers fight each other, Collaboration not Litigation was born. One of the most talked about brewery lawsuits was when Lagunitas sued Sierra Nevada over their Hop Hunter IPA.

This isn’t even the first time Boulevard has had this problem, in the May 2012 issue of All About Beer Magazine. John Mcdonald says, “I tell you, branding is a challenge--because there are so many small breweries and so many brands, so many names are taken. We’ve got a beer right now, we wanted to take to market six months ago, but we can’t get it branded.” My guess on this beer is 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat, as it fits in the timeline of the interview, but that is purely a guess.

So who owns the Recreation Ale trademark? After quickly asking Uncle Google, it appears that Terrapin has an APA named RecreationAle. This doesn’t surprise me that they would request the name change. They are owned by one of the multinational-conglomerate breweries that once upon a time was based in Colorado but moved to Chicago after going corporate.

So there you have it my friends, after this pandemic is over and pickleball season heats up, reach for an Easy Sport Rally Ale. Until then stay at home and watch Varsity Blues, or at least the puke and rally scene on youtube.

Brett A. Myces

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