Find Mediators Near You:

Even Beers Collaborate

From the Blog of Phyllis G. Pollack.

Recently, a colleague, Daniel Yamshon, Esq. (Thank you, Dan!) directed me to a very unique story epitomizing alternate dispute resolution at its zenith! It is all about beer.

As related by the authors of (more specifically, on page 4: ) in their blog interview of May 3, 2011, it seems that two separate breweries produced a beer called “Salvation.” More specifically, both Adam Avery, President and Brewmaster of the Avery Brewing Company in Boulder, Colorado and Vinnie Cilurzo of the Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa, CA, each brewed a beer called “Salvation.”

In 2000 or 2001, Mr. Avery met Mr. Cilurzo, and they “became really good friends.” At some point, Mr. Avery realized that each of them was brewing a beer with the same name; “Salvation.”

As the years went by, they became “really close” friends, with Mr. Avery visiting Mr. Cilurzo at the latter’s brew pub on several occasions. Eventually, Mr. Avery asked the question: “are we going to have a problem with [the beers with the same name]”? Mr. Cilurzo responded that at some point, both of them needed to figure out what to do about this dilemma.

At this point in the story, the legal community, no doubt, would urge the filing of a lawsuit: sue for trademark infringement and a host of other claims, and make a big hullaballoo out of this!

But they eschewed the litigation route. Instead, Messrs. Avery and Cilurzo got together at Mr. Avery’s brewery in 2006 or 2007 and each took a batch of their respective beers and blended them together, getting the right ratio… and boom… a new beer was born called “Collaboration not Litigation.” (It was Mrs. Cilurzo who came up with the name!)

To Mr. Avery’s surprise, this new beer became quite popular, to the point, that he and Mr. Cilurzo brew a small batch of it each January! As Mr. Avery explains, the public’s reaction

“. . . has been all positive. People really appreciate the fact that we could have sued each other but instead kept this – our single beers both called Salvation and then we decided to do this blend. Vinne and I would both think that the blend itself is a better beer than the other two by themselves. There’s a weird kind of combination that goes on…. These flavors don’t exist in either of the two beers, but somehow when they come together they create the new nuances….”

So, I guess, at times, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And to state the obvious, parties gain more by working together or collaborating than working alone or in opposition to each other.

Undoubtedly, the implications in this story call for much further discussion… over a beer!

. . .Just something to think about!


Phyllis Pollack

Phyllis Pollack with PGP Mediation uses a facilitative, interest-based approach. Her preferred mediation style is facilitative in the belief that the best and most durable resolutions are those achieved by the parties themselves. The parties generally know the business issues and priorities, personalities and obstacles to a successful resolution as… MORE >

Featured Members

View all

Read these next


La Mediación a Distancia como Puente de Inclusión Social

Desde el año 2006 he estado investigando las características, posibilidades y limitaciones de los llamados “métodos de resolución de conflictos en línea” RDL. El origen del análisis sobre la factibilidad...

By Alberto Elisavetsky

The Power of Apology

This video is presented as part of's 25th Anniversary Conference. Carl Schneider speaks of the significance of apology and its power to heal damaged relationships by acknowledgement and taking...

By Carl Schneider

A Glimpse into the Future of Alternative Dispute Resolution in China

JAMS ADR Blog by Chris PooleI recently spent three weeks in China and Hong Kong with a delegation of representatives from JAMS. The highlight of the trip was the China...

By Jeffrey Benz