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A thread where we can discuss cloning a commercial release.

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One of the reasons I started brewing was to be able to try and brew an Epic Armageddon clone.    Before attempting this I had tried Epic Pale Ale, Emerson's Bookbinder and Hallatau Maximus.   Along the way I have learnt that sometimes when you make a great beer you are still disappointed that its not what you where trying to create and that you should never tell someone what a beer was "ment" to be rather just let it be what it is, still I want to make great beer clones to prove that I can brew it...

Anyone else that has tried to clone a beer feel free to post the recipe and what wasn't right about it.  I will shortly post my Armageddon recipe and whats right and wrong about it...

Here is my clone and the real beer , which is which?


Clone on the right?

no my clone is on the left.... Armageddon is not as dark as you remembered it...


Epic is also what got me into brewing. One of my first beers was an attempt at a epic pale ale clone. It turned out rubbish. Thin vege tasting still drank the lot tho. Recent attempts have be much better.

I haven't made this yet, but have done lots of research and I'm pretty sure Baylands are on the money with this clone...


I am going to give it a crack soon tho, I just need to make a stout for a mate that gave me 10m of copper first :-)

An interesting thought I have had regarding that Baylands link.

So I have shared the recipe for Epic Pale Ale for homebrewers or professional brewers (if they need help) to use.

But now Baylands are leveraging off the Epic brand to sell the ingredients, and make profit. (if it was just a list of ingredients would as many be sold?)

Plus if a drinker of Epic Pale Ale then brews a batch, and it turns out pretty good, then that is potentially 23 litres less I will be selling.

My question is should a homebrew supply company create a kit and use the brand name to promote it.

How different is this from downloading movies or software without paying?

Interesting thoughts....

I totally get where you are coming from Luke, and I am unsure of the ethics of using someone's brand on a homebrew shops kit? It does not quite sit right but I am sure this is happening in many more places than just at baylands?

My homebrew view on it is that I was going to brew anyway and can't afford 23L of retail epic. Whether it is an epic clone or something else i was going to brew the 23 litres and drink it anyway. Which means it is 23 litres of beer that was not going to be bought from commercial brewers so does it really matter if I happen to buy a kit that makes something in the style of epic pale ale (or insert generic well respected American pale ale recipe here)?

My thought is they should feel free to sell the kit, and to say in the description "makes a beer similar to epic pale ale" but I don't think they should be allowed to sell it with your branding in the title and advertising

Baylands aren't the only ones doing it.

I just wanted to have a bit of a debate here as I am thinking about doing a blog post on it. It is just more of a discussion piece.

Guess it nearly ties into my post about trademarks.

Its seems to be an international trend, if you share the recipe (and I am gratefull to you and every other pro brewer , and NHB comp winner that does) whats the difference to walking into your local home brew shop and asking for the exact grains in exact quantities, in fact thats exactly what I saw this week in a shop with bags labeled with blahblah clone.... obviously phone orders.   The issue to me comes from them using the word EPIC and I am pretty sure that you would have reasonable grounds to defend and ask them to remove the name.   But would this seem like the Radler debacle?  would home brewers see this as petty?   There is an old thread around the lose of sales threat when the maximus recipe was posted.  (Have brewed and its the real recipe also good with GP instead of gladdies).   I was at the 8wired tap takeover vulture lane on Friday it was a whos who of homebrewing... all parting with dollars and being social buying beers , these are the guys who will introduce there friends to new beers and acutally post online about which ones are great.

With regard to losing sales I don't think personally its a huge impact, I always buy a bottle of the real thing to compare and sometimes a 2nd/3rd if I want to do a tasting with friends.  I know the Armageddon clone I did resulted in 4 sales that probably would not have happened if I had not brewed that batch, as we did tastings....as I am not into buying the same beer every visit to store as there are some many new beers (yours included) to try.

All the home brew stores read this site, perhaps they just need some gentle community persuasion....  and they could rename them NZ pale ale

Not at all like the Radler debacle in my mind. Trademarking a style of beer is wrong whatever way you look at it and should not have ever got through the trademark offices. Having a brand of craft beer such as Epic and then wanting to defend your trademark when others start trying to profit using your brand that you have spent much time and money growing is not ethical.

No problem with them selling the ingredients to a recipe that is out in the public domain, and selling them as a kit makes sense. Just don't use the brand/trademark of the beer you have cloned to market the beer. If the public are aware that the kit/recipe happens to be one that if brewed right (remember that is quite a big if) then the beer will end up tasting like a good American pale ale, of which Epic pale ale is a good example then I am ok with that.

I think it would be bordering on copyright and trademark infringement and all that legal mumbo jumbo, yeah ok if he infers its like a popular pale ale NZ craft beer but not directly say who

I remember making a kit and kilo years ago that was a Dutch Lager and it had a green label on the box kind of thing,

you put two and two together but if they had gone straight out and marketed the product as said Dutch beer starting with H they would have been on a power of shite,

Personally it's a bit rude that he is trading on your brand and intellectual property, just to show I care I'm off to get some epic pale ale now to drink, and not clone


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