Jazz legend's son Thelonious Monk Jr. sues North Coast Brewing


The son of the late American Jazz pianist Thelonious Monk has filed a lawsuit in the San Francisco federal court against North Coast Brewing, accusing that the company is using his father’s name and image on the bottle and packaging of products such as the Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale.

The Monk estate originally gave verbal permission to the Californian brewery to use Thelonious' name and image in return for donations to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

The son, TS Monk claims he revoked the permission in January last year after he saw the likeness being used on merchandise beyond beer bottles.

The company has been using Thelonious Monk's reference on 17 other items, including soap, cups, t-shirts, hoodies, mouse pads, and tap handles, according to the Reuters.

"The Brewery makes a donation to the Institute for every bottle of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale sold."

It is reported that TS Monk has insisted that the brewery has to enter a merchandising contract and pay royalties to his father's estate.

On its website, North Coast noted that "The Brewery makes a donation to the Institute for every bottle of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale sold".

According to The Associated Press, North Coast president Mark Ruedrich expressed that the company was upset by the lawsuit filed by TS Monk and is ready to successfully defend its rights.

Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale has 9.4% alcohol by volume (ABV). Available in a 750ml bottle with a traditional cork and wire finish, the beer package features Thelonious Monk holding a glass of beer, with piano keys behind his head.