We have blogged, most recently on July 30, 2019, about Minnesota’s farm winery statute. The statute allows local wineries to sell direct to retailers and the public, unlike the traditional three-stage manufacturer-distributor-retailer system. In order to qualify for the farm winery license, the winery must obtain 50% or more of its ingredients from Minnesota

The  issued Industry Circular 2020–3 on May 8, 2020 which clarifies the applicability of the trade practice provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration (FAA) Act and TTB regulations during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  The guidance is in effect only from March 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020.
Continue Reading TTB Relaxes Certain Trade Practice Rules During COVID-19

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) have issued new and updated guidance documents in addition to those previously published in order to address the decreased market supply of hand sanitizer products resulting from the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading FDA and TTB Issue Additional Guidance on Hand Sanitizer Manufacturing, CARES Act Provides Tax Relief

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has drastically impacted all facets of everyday life, including the way in which alcohol sales can be conducted. Though most jurisdictions have banned dine-in customers at restaurants, bars and tap rooms, many have permitted on-premise licensees to temporarily sell to consumers through delivery, curb-side pickup, or off-premise sales. It is imperative to contact

There is a House of Representatives bill pending that if passed would allow shipment of alcohol beverages through the US Postal Service. Currently alcohol beverages may only be shipped through a common carrier such as UPS or FedEx. If the legislation passes the ban on shipping through the mail would be lifted, and products could

On July 1, 2019, we blogged about the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down various Tennessee regulations whose purpose and effect was to limit the ability of non-Tennessee actors to compete in the retail market for alcoholic beverages. Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Ass’n v. Thomas, 139 S.Ct. 2449 (2019). Last month, the Fifth Circuit addressed a somewhat different restriction imposed by the State of Texas. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Com’n, 935 F.3d 362 (5th Cir. 2019).

Continue Reading Texas Ban on Retail Liquor License for Public Corporations

Bacardi U.S., Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit in Florida due the use of grains of paradise in Bombay Sapphire® Gin.  In Uri Marrache v. Bacardi USA, Inc., et al., Case No. 2019-023668-CA-01 (Miami-Dade Cir. Ct. Aug. 9, 2019), the plaintiff alleges that the use of grains of paradise violates a Florida state law preventing the adulteration of liquor with certain ingredients resulting in a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTP).

Continue Reading Class Action Tests Allowed Ingredients in Gin under Florida Law

On May 9, 2019, we blogged about the challenge to the Minnesota farm winery statute. The statute allows Minnesota farms to bypass the traditional three-tier method of distributing alcoholic beverages and sell directly to retailers and consumers. To qualify as a farm winery, however, more than 50% of the grapes it uses must be grown in Minnesota. Two farm wineries argued that the statute violated the dormant commerce clause by discriminating against out-of-state grape growers.

Continue Reading Minnesota Wine Update

Avoiding Trademark Disputes in the Alcoholic Beverage Industry

In the first installment of our series on trademark disputes in the alcoholic beverage industry, we identified the risks facing industry participants on the branding front, regardless if they are “entrepreneurs” entering the market for the first time or established companies launching a new brand.  As we advised, the risks are significant and have the potential to completely derail your new brand.


Continue Reading Steer Clear with Your Beer Branding