Why did Bud Light threaten a craft brewery with the ‘Pit of Misery’?

Hear ye, hear ye. Do not attempt to co-opt Bud Light’s new “Dilly Dilly” slogan.

One Minnesota craft brewery tried to last week, when it named a new beer “Dilly Dilly Mosaic Double IPA.” Modist Brewery was swiftly met with a rather medieval, yet also pretty cordial, cease-and-desist letter.

Actually, it was a cease-and-desist scroll, read by a town crier, who sauntered into the brewery office Friday dressed in full medieval garb. The crier requested that Modist keep its “Dilly Dilly” tribute to one limited run, or face further scrolls from “The Crown.”

“‘Dilly Dilly’ is the motto of our realm,” read the cease-and-desist scroll, which was penned on actual parchment paper. “So we humbly ask that you keep this to a limited-edition, one-time-only run. This is by order of the king. Disobedience shall be met with additional scrolls, then a formal warning, and finally, a private tour of the ‘Pit of Misery.’

Going a step further with the good humor, Bud Light offered two tickets for two Modist employees to Super Bowl LII, which will be played in Minneapolis on Feb. 4, 2018, if the brewery complied.

Modist did, and the brewery wrote on Facebook Saturday that the beer would be renamed “Coat Tails” for further batches.

“How do you respond to to a cease and desist written on parchment paper, delivered by a guy in Old English garb, read aloud in the brewery, letting them sell the beer until it’s gone, and giving them two tickets to the Super Bowl?” Modist’s lawyer Jeff O’Brien asked the Minneapolis City Paper.

“This is a little out of character ... I’ve got to tip my hat to them. We certainly would rather see it handled this way, with some humor.”

Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” commercials have spawned a new catchphrase for the minute among beer drinkers and bandwagon-hoppers alike. The first debuted in August, seizing on a wave of medieval momentum as Season 7 of the HBO series Game of Thrones wound to a close.

The second was released on Thanksgiving, giving viewers a full tour of the “Pit of Misery,” which Modist avoided by paying fealty to the Bud Light crown this time around.

The whole episode runs in contrast to the traditionally adversarial relationship Bud Light owner Anheuser Busch InBev usually has with the craft beer world. In the first “Dilly Dilly” commercial, a subject named Doug is sent for a tour of the “Pit of Misery” after presenting the king of the realm with “a spiced honeymeade wine I’ve really been into lately,” instead of the preferred Bud Light, a clear jab at the varied flavors and formulations craft brewers employ.

Whatever Modist’s feelings on Bud Light or its relation to big alcohol, two tickets to the Super Bowl and a little bit of national publicity are better than a pit of legal misery.

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