MOSCOW, Idaho — A disagreement could be brewing between a University of Idaho alum and his alma mater because he is created a beer he calls "Vandal beer."
Part of the money made from selling the beer would go towards scholarships at the University of Idaho. But the school has told him, not so fast.
The beer is a gold pale ale, presumably a gold inspired by the school’s logo.
"It started when I was down here at the University of Idaho as a student. I was inspired by the people I met down here," said Vandal Beer creator Austin Nielsen in a promotional fundraising video.
He said he has experience in the brewing industry and wanted to create Vandal Beer to give back. On the beer's Facebook page, the company said that 10 percent of all sales of these suds will go towards UI scholarships and a separate "community fund."
“This has been, and always will be about making a positive impact in the lives of others. I encourage those that want to do the same, to reach out and join this effort. Our mission and goal is nothing but positive,” Nielsen told KREM in an email.
There's a minor holdup. The beer’s name includes Vandal. The Vandals in the administrative offices aren't too keen on that.
A UI spokeswoman Jodi Walker confirms that the school sent a letter to Nielsen telling him to stop using the Vandal name due to trademark infringement.
Walker said UI appreciates the idea, along with anyone being passionate about scholarships. They said there are procedures to properly using the Vandal name with a product. They want to make sure they're protecting the school's reputation.
UI said Nielsen approached them about Vandal Beer some time ago, but the school told him he couldn't use the name. Despite that, it appears Nielsen pressed on with the idea. There is a disclaimer on his website that says the beer and the university aren't officially affiliated.
Nielsen said he wouldn't be able to make a statement on this until Friday.
Meanwhile, UI said they haven't heard back from him yet. They hope they can work together to resolve this. If not, the school says legal action could be possible.