New Spirit for Northumberland drinks maker | 17 October 08

THE producer of iconic North-East drinks Alnwick Rum and Alnwick IPA now has a new Spirit, thanks to help from law firm Ward Hadaway.

Ian Linsley of Alnwick Rum with Alex Shiel of Ward Hadaway

Cheering news – (from left) Ian Linsley of the Alnwick Rum Company and Alex Shiel of Ward Hadaway celebrate the approval of the Spirit of Northumberland trademark.

The Alnwick Rum Company used the Newcastle-based firm to successfully register “Spirit of Northumberland” as a trademark for all of its drinks in the UK.

The company, which was revived by managing director Ian Linsley in 2003, is now looking to use the trademark to boost its brand presence and market its products across the country.

Alnwick Rum Company has already secured an agreement with supermarket giant Tesco to sell its beer, Alnwick IPA, in 41 Tesco stores from the North-East to Yorkshire and is hoping to do the same with Alnwick Rum.

Other major stockists include Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Fenwick and the Co-op and the company is also planning to use the Spirit of Northumberland trademark slogan on a forthcoming range of soft drinks.

Ian Linsley, managing director of the Alnwick Rum Company, said: “This is a real milestone for the business.

“We had been wanting to get ‘Spirit of Northumberland’ as a trademark for a long time because it covers not just the fact that we make spirits, but also the fact that our products have such an affinity with Northumberland and such a history with the place.

“We believe that what we make and the way we do business sums up the spirit and the ethos of Northumberland so we are delighted that Ward Hadaway has secured this trademark for us.”

Alex Shiel, partner and head of intellectual property at Ward Hadaway, led the firm’s work on the trademark application.

He said: “We have carried out a number of trademark-related pieces of work for The Alnwick Rum Company, but Ian and his team were particularly keen to ensure we were successful with this particular application.

“Registering ‘Spirit of Northumberland’ with the UK Trademark Registry means that the company is the only one in the country which can sell drinks products under the ‘Spirit of Northumberland’ banner.

“It is quite a broad trademark, which offers a lot of scope for product expansion, and will hopefully help to spread the word not just about the Alnwick Rum Company but about Northumberland as a whole.”

The original Alnwick Rum, a complex blend of Guyana and Jamaica rums, dates back to the First World War and was produced by the Alnwick Brewery Company Limited, which began trading in the 1860s.

Unfortunately the Alnwick Brewery ceased trading in 1986, and it wasn’t until Ian’s father’s death in April 2001, when the original rum recipes were found amongst his papers, that Ian decided to re-register the Alnwick Rum Company and set about reviving the famous drink.

The Duchess of Northumberland helped to relaunch Alnwick Rum in 2003 and since then the drink has acquired a number of prominent supporters, including drinks expert Oz Clarke.

That was followed up with the relaunch of Alnwick IPA (India Pale Ale) in 2007, 50 years after it was last produced.

Whilst neither of the two drinks are currently made in Northumberland, the long-term aim of the Alnwick Rum Company is to bring the brewing back into Alnwick and make the brewery a tourist attraction, as well as a full production centre.

Further details on Alnwick Rum can be found at the website

* For more information on our intellectual property team and its work, please click here.