Our sister blog, Eating Our Words over at the Houston Press, reported that Anheuser-Busch's parent company, AB InBev, has applied for trademarks on the number 713–which just happens to be the original area code for Houston.
The brewing giant, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium (area code +32 16,
not that they're trademarking that one in this country), also has
designs on 214 (Dallas), 303 (Denver) and 314 (St. Louis, the only one
that makes sense, since Anheuser-Busch was based there).
The applications are meant to trademark the area codes for use as beer brands, presumably to lend a thin veneer of local cachet to beers developed halfway around the world and brewed in some macroregional distribution center, thus duping the credulous into thinking they're drinking local beer.
We respectfully suggest that if AB InBev would like to trademark area codes for beer, they might want to consider actually making beer first, and not hops-flavored soda.
In the meantime, we're left to wonder: what would 714 beer taste like? Or 562? 949 beer would be hoppy and as bitter as the people who run the stern HOA boards in that area code. Quick! Somebody lay out the $275 application fee to trademark them.