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Boston-Area Brewery Sues One of Its Founders

Aeronaut Brewing Co. filed a lawsuit against founder Benjamin Holmes this week.

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A mutual love of beer might not be enough for the three MIT graduates that founded a Brewery in Somerville in 2013. Aeronaut Brewing Company filed a lawsuit Wednesday for copyright infringement against one of its founders, Benjamin Holmes.

In December 2019, Aeronaut said they learned that Holmes founded Fermentation Arts Brasserie “FAB”, a competing brewery in Somerville. According to court documents obtained by Universal Hub, Holmes was using Aeronaut resources, branding and trade secrets at his new venture.

In December 2019, Holmes and Aeronaut entered a buyout agreement that stated Holmes would resign as an Aeronaut manager on Jan. 1. According to a counter-motion filed by Holmes on Jan. 15, the agreement permits Holmes to operate a competing business. Holmes founded FAB in May 2018 under the name Flight LLC and changed the name to FAB in June 2018. Ronn Friedlander and Daniel Rassi, the two other Aeronaut founders, had no knowledge of FAB at this time.

Friedlander, Rassi and Holmes founded Aeronaut in 2013 in hopes of combining their shared love of beer and science. When Aeronaut opened in 2014, it was Somerville's first craft brewery in over a century.

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