Katrina Martinez, owner of Lineup Brewing in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently told Pitchfork that she was inspired to create her Biëryoncé microbrew because, as a Hispanic female business owner, “I am very inspired by her, so I thought I’d pay homage.” Not only she did name a pilsner after the singer, but she took the pink bold font and black background from Beyoncé’s self-titled album and made it part of the can’s packaging.
Beyoncé herself wasn’t so crazy about the idea.
After hearing about Biëryoncé, the Queen Bee’s legal team got together in a big “Now, what you’re not going to do” huddle and sent Martinez a cease and desist letter, asking that Lineup Brewing stop making the German beer.
Before gallons of hoppy white tears pour forth, microbrew lovers should consider that Martinez herself doesn’t seem too put out by the news.
“We’re disappointed she didn’t take it as a compliment, but oh well,” Martinez told Pitchfork. “It was fun while it lasted!”
Martinez seems to be taking the news in stride, and why shouldn’t she? She took a powerful black woman’s brand and was able to flip a few dollars from it.
Because let’s be real: Biëryoncé’s short-lived run and the real-deal Beyoncé’s cease and desist letter are both pretty big news-makers for Martinez. Standing out in the highly competitive and oversaturated world of microbrews is tough (especially in Brooklyn, where legions of hipsters down overpriced craft brew like manna from the gentrification gods). The press Lineup Brewing garnered as a result of Beyoncé (be it through the beer or the cease and desist) drew more attention to the brand than it would have otherwise drawn.
That makes Martinez a clear winner here—even if she can’t make any more batches of the brew (it’s still available in New York City while supplies last).