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It’s now The Tragically Hip vs. Mill Street Beer over the phrase “At the Hundredth Meridian”

What do you think of when you see the phrase “At the Hundredth Meridian?” If you’re a cartographer, your mind immediately goes to the line of longitude that extends own through the middle of Manitoba that extends through the American plains. If you’re a Tragically Hip fan, you inevitably and automatically think of the song of that name on the Fully Completely album.

And therein lies the issue with a new lawsuit.

Here’s the statement from The Hip that appeared in inboxes last night.

100th Meridian Beer Has Nothing To Do With Us. We wanted you to know we just started a lawsuit against Mill Street Brewery over their 100th Meridian Amber Lager. Mill Street is a subsidiary of Labatt, which is owned by the large Belgian multinational brewer AB InBev. We wanted to make sure you heard it from us first. We all know “At The Hundredth Meridian” was Gord Downie’s idea, not Mill Street’s.

Many of you are probably under the impression that we are associated with Mill Street’s 100th Meridian beer – we are not. We knew there is some confusion out there, but we didn’t know how much until recently. It turns out that Mill Street Brewery has used our band name, our albums, and even Gord Downie’s picture on their social media in connection with their 100th Meridian beer. We weren’t happy that you, our fans, were being led to believe that by buying Mill St’s 100th Meridian Beer you were supporting us.
You know we have always been all about our fans. That’s why we make sure that everything we release, whether it’s music, merchandise, or beverages, is approved by us and made for you. Mill Street’s 100th Meridian beer is neither. We tried to sort it out with Mill Street for months but were unsuccessful. They didn’t take us seriously and were frankly disrespectful. We have been around for a long time, and have always been able to work things like this out without a lawsuit. Unfortunately, not this time. We took this step to clear up any confusion once and for all. We need you to know that you can always count on The Tragically Hip.
Here are some examples of how they marketed their beer.

How will this play out? We’ll see. Here’s more from Global News.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “It’s now The Tragically Hip vs. Mill Street Beer over the phrase “At the Hundredth Meridian”

  • This band is slowly selling out, understandable as they won’t have new music or tours but looking through their merch etc nothing more than rip-off off for fans friend ordered a holiday calendar at Xmas for $500!!!! Inside stuff worth maybe $200 just pathetic. Its ruining their legacy. Since they were taken over by new (old) management some cool things came out old photos etc but overall I don’t like the direction they are going. Fans will disappear.

  • “That’s why we make sure that everything we release, whether it’s music, merchandise, or beverages, is approved by us and made for you”.

    Scotia Bank is the first thing I think of when I hear “Ahead By A Century” 20 times during a hockey game.

    I guess it’s the band’s prerogative where and to whom they sell out to

    • Excellent point.

      i *think* the difference is that the band would get paid for the song at a hockey game, but the beer company is using the band’s material without permission/payment.

      It begs the question, WHY NOW though, and why splash it all over the media? The beer has been available for a number of years.

  • Pingback: Tragically Hip beer is in the news again--and for the right reasons | Earlier this year, there was word of a legal dust-up between The Tragically Hip and Mill Street Brewery over the latter's use of the name "At the

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