Someone has beer goggles

Beer has been known to cause occasional headaches, but the one Sierra Nevada Brewery has didn’t come from a long night of drinking and can’t be fixed with a big glass of water.

In 1985, the brewery was approached by Vietnamese entrepreneur Tony Tuan Nguyen to produce what he called Vietnam’s first beer. It was named Chau Tien Pale Ale and was aimed toward the Asian drinker.

Nguyen claims he was partners in a joint venture to produce, distribute and share the profits of Chau Tien with Sierra Nevada. He says the brewery is misrepresenting him now by not recognizing his beer as one of the brewery’s originals.

“By not acknowledging Chau Tien as a beer Sierra Nevada made and distributed it has prevented me from getting into main distribution, causing me to miss out on lots of money,” Nguyen says.

Nguyen’s story is entirely false, according to Sierra Nevada.

The extent of the relationship with Nguyen consisted of selling him the beer bottles, putting his labels on them and filling them with his ale, says Ken Grossman, president of Sierra Nevada Brewery.

“At no time was Tuan ever partners, or working for Sierra Nevada. He had no involvement with the company whatsoever,” Grossman says. “He was a private label and we helped to produce his beer.”

Grossman says since the company and Nguyen went its separate ways in 1986, Nguyen has been constantly sending letters and showing up at Sierra Nevada functions claiming to be his partner.

“He randomly pops up at sponsored events and tries to convince people he is a part of the brewery,” Grossman says. “Tuan has no right saying he was ever partners. This situation may eventually require legal action and a possible restraining order.”

Nguyen claims to have a law firm representing his case, but Grossman says when Sierra Nevada tried to contact the firm it said it had never heard of him.