Heineken to take competitor to court over a barrel

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Dutch brewer Heineken said on Thursday it would take a rival company, headed by one of its former employees, to court over the use of its barrels, in the latest spat between the two companies.

A Heineken official said a court hearing in Amsterdam on Aug. 4 would hear accusations that Olm Brouwerijen, a company led by Mark Schneider, a former sales executive for Heineken, had been using Heineken kegs to sell Olm beer to bars and cafes.

“One, we want our kegs back. Two, we want Olm to stop refilling our kegs with their own beer. Three, we want information about how much damage has been done,” said Wouter Fijnaut, director of catering and hospitality for Heineken in the Netherlands.

Olm disputes the allegations.

“We have never done that, and we would never do that. This is clearly a way to just destroy a small company like ours,” Olm Chief Executive Mark Schneider said.

Schneider set up Olm in 2003 after working for Heineken for eight years. He has clashed with his former employer before.

In 2010, Heineken filed a lawsuit over the appearance of Olm’s green beer bottles. As a result, Olm agreed to remove a red star, which is also used by Heineken on its labelling, from its bottles.