Brewers have been selling Simpsons-inspired Duff's Beer — Homer's brew of choice — for years. And the Fox Network has followed each new knockoff with court papers to shut the copyright infringement down. Now Fox is finally stepping up and licensing its own, legal Duff, set to hit markets in early 2016.
The company is reportedly consulting brewmasters to dial in the flavor, which according to their consumer products president, Jeffrey Godsick, will be that of a premium lager. "It's got a very good balance of flavor and refreshment to it," said Godsick, according to the Wall Street Journal. "It's fairly deep golden in color. It's got a hint of fruit to it. It's got a caramel aromatic to it." Now that we're finally going to find out what Fox's Duff Beer really does taste like, it's just a matter of getting your hands on a can. The product will first be released in Chile, followed by Europe and other areas of South America. For now, the U.S. will only see Duff in The Simpsons sections of the Universal theme parks in Los Angeles and Orlando. But according to WSJ's report, Godsick is hopeful for America, saying, "I think there's potential to have Duff everywhere in the world."
Until this announcement, Fox has been defending the Duff title since 1996, due, in part, to fear that a real Duff Beer would promote underage drinking. Now, Fox argues, after 26 years of Simpsons on the air, the audience demographic has widened and aged. But before this maturation, South Australian Brewing Company was forced to destroy $2 million worth of beer.
Other past cases include the Duff Brewery in New Zealand (who were Duff way before The Simpsons was created, but changed to McDuff because they couldn't afford a lawsuit), Colombian brothers Alvaro and Oscar Ballesteros (who changed their Duff to DuH) in 2008, and German Duff Beer UG selling their "legendary Duff beer" without mentioning The Simpsons on its packaging or its website. And after Fox attempted to create the Duff Beer trademark for their own commercial use, an EU Community Trade Mark decision made by the Brussels Commercial Court stated that a "Beer" logo applied exclusively to non-beer merchandise was misleading. "Once you see enough piracy, you're faced with two choices. One is deciding to fight it, and the other is deciding to go out [into the market] with it," said Godsick.