Come out and attend one of the ILCC and TTB informational seminars on June 13

At yesterday’s Illinois Liquor Control Commission board meeting, the director said that in addition to discussing federal trade practice rules and some issues concerning the ongoing investigations that the entities are engaging in, the upcoming June 13 learning sessions hosted by the TTB in Chicago regarding trade practices would be jointly hosted by the ILCC and […]

Here’s Why Copper is OK for Brewing Equipment But Not for Your Moscow Mule

Apparently amateur chemistry isn’t for everyone.  Especially not the thousands of mixologists and bartenders across the world who’ve been recommending and serving Moscow Mules in mugs with copper interior coming into contact with the acidic drink.  Potentially poisoning drinkers in trendy restaurants from Portland to … Portland.   The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission recently reminded everyone […]

Oral Argument Audio Available in Craft Brewers’ Franchise Dispute Over Distribution Termination In Ohio

The Sixth Circuit held the oral argument yesterday in the dispute between Southern Glazer’s and two craft brewers (Great Lakes Brewing and Boston Beer Company) looking to terminate their distribution relationship.   You can listen to the argument here: We’ve written about this case a few times here and here noting that it is an […]

Nevada Case Questions How Egregious Distributor Behavior Has To Be To Amount To Good Cause For Termination of Franchise Rights

Franchise laws enslaving brewers to distributors often have vaguely worded “good cause” terms allowing a brewer to terminate a relationship when this beneficently named justification exists. A frequent criticism of these statutes is that when a distributor has acted in a fashion that would allow for termination under regular contract principles, these laws force brewers […]

Inflating Your Products’ Online Reviews Could Subject You to Suits For False Advertising and Unfair Competition

A good lesson in considering the method by which you garner online reviews and some valuable guidance for companies in conducting their online activities. This decision from a federal court in Utah in a Lanham Act suit between two vitamin companies provides a decent roadmap for how not to garner increased positive online reviews and […]

Millercoors Wins “Not From Australia” Lawsuit Over Claims That Foster’s Marketing Misleads Drinkers

In one of latest wins for brewers against deceptive labeling lawsuits brought against domestically made beers over branding that arguably conveys they are imported, Millercoors has scored a win for its Foster’s brand against a putative class action looking to cash in against the company.  The lawsuit (you can read the amended complaint here) alleged that […]

North Carolina Proposes Some Common-Sense Amendments to Modernize Its Brewing Laws That Advance Rights for Craft Brewers In the Face of Changing Times

Jim Koch (of Boston Beer fame) wrote an excellent polemic for the New York Times last week questioning some American attitudes towards beer.  A salient point from that article was that many state distribution laws developed over time from the end of prohibition and haven’t been updated since the 1970’s.  These distribution statutes were created […]

Example Agreements: Spirits Manufacturing Agreement (Licensing) – Contract Distilling With Enhanced “Flash” Aging

This recent dispute between a distiller and a company looking to contract manufacture a whiskey called Rattleback Rye has resulted in an opinion from a federal district court in South Carolina denying a motion to dismiss based on breach of contract grounds against both the company and its principals, but granting dismissal of claims for […]

Craft Brewers Need to Watch This Texas Dispute Over Getting Money From Wholesalers For Selling Distribution Rights – State Files Opening Brief in Appeal of Challenge to Texas Brewer’s Ability to Sell Their Distribution Rights for Payment

It used to be that brewers signed with wholesalers and gave up their self-distribution rights and didn’t get any money for them.  Then some enterprising brewers realized that wholesalers sue each other and brewers for the value of those rights so the rights must have value.  They started asking for payment when they signed with […]

Using A Photograph in Advertising or On Your Label? Better Make Sure You Have Rights From the Photographer AND the People In It. Natty Light Sued In Lawsuit Over Using Photograph From Social Media Contest.

Ensure that you get the proper releases if you’re using a photograph with human subjects.  Whether on your label or in your advertising – if you’ve gathered photographs from a festival or from fans through a social media campaign you need clearance.  That means a release from the artist – he photographer – as well […]

This Spuds Not For You – Anheuser Gets Sued By Putative Owner of Spuds MacKenzie Claiming Anheuser Abandoned Spuds MacKenzie

You read that right.  They created him, they used him, and now, they may have waited too long in between uses to be able to claim they have the rights to him.  This lawsuit (link to complaint), filed yesterday in the Southern District of New York by Spuds Ventures. The lawsuit alleges that the recent […]