Over the weekend, Minneapolis-based Fair Brewing Cooperative announced a new smoothie hard seltzer called WUT. Coming in at 8% ABV, WUT is a Pina Colada Smoothie Hard Seltzer made with real coconut and whole pineapple puree. Described as “thick, luxurious, intensely fruity, without all that pesky ‘beer’ business to get in the way,” WUT is a taproom-only release, said Fair State on social media.
While some online seemed eager to try WUT, others were quick to point out that it looked and sounded an awful lot like a product already on the market — Smooj. Smooj is a beverage company out of Ann Arbor, MI making its own gluten- and dairy-free fruited hard seltzers, including a Pina Colada Hard Seltzer.
“Wow. This sure looks a lot like Smooj!” commented one in the Facebook post’s comments.
“Wow. Looks a lot like @drinksmooj packaging,” observed another on Instagram.
On Monday, Fair State made an edit to their original post admitting that “members of the craft beer community called out the design of [WUT] for being a little too close to comfort to Smooj’s Piña Colada label design.” They go on to say they’ve read the comments, reached out to Smooj and have taken time to reflect. “After closer consideration, we agree that our initial attempt is too similar to their product to remain as-is and we will be redesigning future iterations.” Fair State concludes the edit by saying they’re revamping their “policies around new product development in the taproom to prevent this from happening with different products in the future.”