Anheuser-Busch to craft brewers: You can't use Dilly Dilly all willy nilly

Screenshot: YouTube
Screenshot: YouTube

Craft breweries and Big Beer (the Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors of the world) don’t always get along. So it’s sort of encouraging to see what could have turned into a legal dispute get resolved with a costumed telegram and some Super Bowl tickets.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Modist Brewing is a small but well-regarded brewery that recently released a Mosaic-hopped double IPA called Dilly Dilly. If you’ve watched the NFL this season—er, slogged through the NFL this season—you’ll recognize the phrase “Dilly Dilly” as the weird-ass refrain of a series of medieval-themed Bud Light commercials.

Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev predictably was less than thrilled with Modist’s use of Dilly Dilly. But because Big Beer looks like a giant bully when they go after the little guys, AB InBev chose to deliver its cease and desist letter with a bit of humor.


“We are duly flattered by your loyal tribute, however, Dilly Dilly is the motto of our realm and so we humbly as that you keep this to a limited-edition, one-time-only run,” recites a costumed town crier in this video posted to Modist’s Facebook page.

Modist took it in stride, vowing to rename the beer Coat Tails. And good for them: They got free press and some Super Bowl tickets out of the whole deal. Brb, naming my next homebrew Famous Among Friends.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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There’s a local car dealership commercial that now ends with someone being called “Silly, silly!” followed by an offscreen chorus of “Silly, silly!”

I hate it with a passion.