Category Archives: Craft Beer

beer-truck February 14

Final Briefs Filed as Craft Brewers’ Fight to Terminate Distribution Agreements in Ohio Rolls On

When last we wrote about the ongoing attempts by Great Lakes Brewing and Boston Beer Company to terminate their distribution arrangements with Souther Glazer’s in Ohio, Great Lakes had just filed its appellate brief looking to overturn the order that the District Court entered forcing it to keep selling to Southern Glazer’s.  The beauty of […]

happy-hour-sign January 25

A Win for Rational Thought In Alcohol Advertising – 8th Circuit Asks District Court to Consider Whether There’s A Correlation Between Alcohol Advertising Regulations and Their Intended Objectives In Order to Satisfy First Amendment Scrutiny

It’s not just that some 20th Century laws are not equipped to handle 21st Century problems. (I read that in a Google ad a while back and still think it is a great statement.)  Its that since the time when many of the problems asserted in the alcohol industry were the subject of “tied-house” and […]

wine-beer-retail January 18

Is it really a “tied-house” if your alcoholic beverage category isn’t sold by the retailer?

In a recent and interesting challenge to the three-tiered system’s prohibition on “tied-houses” a winery owner looking to maintain an interest in some Iowa convenience stores made an interesting argument:  since the convenience stores only sold beer and not wine, the mutual ownership didn’t violate the Iowa prohibition on tied-houses. Iowa, like most states has […]

absinthe-poster January 12

Is Your Label Protected? Label Art Copyright Can Provide Some Added Protection Where Trademark Might Fail

Château Mouton Rothschild exemplifies the trend of label “as” art, perhaps even to the point of rendering itself a unique example of label = art through the use of the most “celebrated artists of their day” on its wine labels.  Many companies traditionally understand that trademark law affords them an exceptional tool in protecting their […]

crowler December 08

Challenge to Retailer Crowler Ban in Texas Has Another Win – And Court Finds Regulatory FAQs are Rulings that Can be Challenged

Growler/crowler laws and regulations across the country are a hodgepodge of nonsensical restrictions on the sale of beer that usually come down to a singular question – who can fill containers of beer to go?  Some states say the privilege rests solely with brewers in their tap rooms, some states let any retailer – gas […]

You Should Be Paid For Your Self-Distribution Rights – and Texas Agrees!

In 2013, distributors lobbied and won a concession as part of a generally positive group of reforms supporting the craft brewing industry in Texas.  The provision they slipped into the 2013 amendments to Texas craft brewing laws prohibited brewers from getting value for their self-distribution rights.  The entirety of sales driven profits, the law said, […]

Watch out – Court holds craft producers can be sued in foreign jurisdictions where they don’t sell just by linking to other websites that sell their products there

Craft producers from breweries and distilleries to cheese and sausage makers should sit up and take notice of this recent opinion out of the Western District of Michigan.  The case involves a run of the mill trademark dispute between Mor-Dall Enterprises (the company behind Dark Horse Brewing out in Marshall, MI) and Dark Horse Distillery […]

A call for analyzing the 3-tiered system? NJ Court says alcohol regulations need to be revisited in light of changing conditions

There’s an quote from Justice Holmes’ The Path of the Law that goes “[i]t is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished […]