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Two Minnesota farm wineries brought a challenge to a Minnesota Farm Winery Act restriction mandating that in order to have the benefits of the Farm Winery license (direct to consumer sales, and direct to retailer sales) they make their wine from a “majority” of grapes grown or produced in Minnesota. The act does not mandate that they grow the grapes themselves, just that a majority of the grapes they use in their wines come from Minnesota. They argue that the purpose of this “in-state” mandate “was giving a commercial advantage to Minnesota ingredients at the expense of out-of-state ingredients.” The…
Looks like this one has a good chance of passage. As we wrote about before on this bill, many new rights (in line with those available to wineries and breweries) are in store for Illinois craft distillers if this amendment to the Illinois Liquor Control Act passes. These will include creation of two new classes of craft distillers – a class 1 and class 2 that can: Class 1 Craft Distiller Ability to self-distribute Increase from 2500 to 5000 gallons that can be used for self-distribution or direct sales to consumer from your tasting room for on or off…
Craft brewers in Illinois will achieve status as a separate class if the proposed changes to Illinois’s beer franchise law, the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act (815 ILCS 720/1), pass. House Bill 3442 proposes to change the way craft brewers are treated in Illinois. Beer franchise laws like Illinois’s Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act developed as a way to keep large brewers from exercising their market dominance and substantial bargaining power in beer distribution relationships mandated by the three-tier system. They date back to a time when many distributors were small businesses forced to deal with national and even…
Presently, Illinois retailers cannot sell growlers of beer to customers. The privilege is reserved to Brewpubs and Breweries but it’s never been codified as a regulation or a law. Illinois Senate Bill 596 (as amended) changes that and introduces a “use of growlers” component to the current sanitation requirements found in Subsection 6-6.5 of the Illinois Liquor Control Act (235 ILCS 5/6-6.5). As currently enrolled the new law states that manufacturers (brewers), Brewpubs, and on-premise retail licensees, would be allowed to fill growlers (oddly, only three different sizes are called out in the statute – 32, 64 and 128 oz…
I’m sure you’ve been wondering what this is all about. A Patagonia branded beer from AB? A lawsuit from Patagonia over the use of their arguably famous mark? Well, dear reader, worry not. Here’s the Complaint (also embedded below). In short, the well drafted and detailed complaint is worth the read and lays out the reasons Patagonia believe that AB has made purposeful decisions to have it appear that their Patagonia beer is made by the Patagonia clothing company. Patagonia-v.-Anheuser-Busch-LLC-Complaint
The decision yesterday in Liu v. Four Seasons Hotel, Ltd. creates another pitfall and need for employers in Illinois worrying about the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. We wrote a little while ago about the parade of horribles unleashed by the Illinois Supreme Court in determining that an actual injury is not necessary to receive the liquidated damages available under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Fingerprints are likely the way most employers might be in violation. Time clocks, door locks and other 21st Century revamps of 20th Century employment practices incorporate useful updates like accepting fingerprints or retinal…
“[W]hen an artist’s work has touched people so significantly, there are often usurpers that want to capitalize on that connection. A strong brand attracts parasites that attempt to create profits through no work of their own, based on the popularity of and love for an artist.” Strong words from this complaint recently filed by Biggie’s estate against the company that makes Yes snowboards. The estate claims that the company sold items utilizing an image if Biggie without obtaining the estates permission. The image cited in the complaint is that of Biggie in front of the World Trade Center from
State regulators, brewers, vintners and distillers benefit from clear and precise laws detailing functions and rights like contract brewing and custom crush arrangements. Idaho recently took a step that other brewers looking for clarifying legislation may find helpful in crafting their own state statutes. The state defined contract brewing through providing definitions of the two parties to such an arrangement: (d) “Contractee brewer” means a brewer producing fewer than thirty thousand (30,000) barrels of beer in aggregate annually, including any beer manufactured outside the state of Idaho, that enters into a contractual relationship with another brewer to produce beer on…
The FDA will hold a May 31, 2019 public hearing to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide the FDA with additional input relevant to the Agency’s regulatory strategy related to existing products, as well as the lawful pathways by which appropriate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds (including CBD) can be marketed. With a goal of understanding how the FDA can make those legal pathways more predictable and efficient. Industry members, stakeholders, and others interested in cannabis related products and regulations may provide the FDA the comments and can even ask to make a presentation at the hearing but must…
What’s in a geographic descriptor? Would advertising implying a connection to Hawaii, say, be actionable if a craft beer, craft spirits, or wine isn’t made in Hawaii? What about Japan? You’ll have to ask Kona and Asahi about those issues, but what about saying something like “local” to describe your product when you’re not made in the state where you’re using that language? Turns out that can cost you. Bimbo Bakeries recently took U.S. Bakery to task for false advertising and trade secret claims. The primary issue we’re concerned with here is that Bimbo accused US of falsely advertising that…
The ongoing dispute in Mississippi between the state’s Attorney General and several companies that take orders from Mississippi residents and ship wine to them is off to the races on its appeal. News outlets have reported about this case. The Mississippi legislature has even introduced a bill looking to finally allow shipping (even in-state retailers can’t ship to Mississippi residents under their current alcohol regulatory framework). While the initial case was about Mississippi enforcing alcohol laws regarding shipping wine (craft beer and liquor retailers do this too, but they weren’t the target of Mississippi officials), after the ruling of…
Back in November we wrote about the recent 7th circuit decision in Lebamoff v. Rauner reversing a District Court decision refusing to consider whether restricting out of state alcoholic beverage retailers from shipping to Illinois customers violated the commerce clause where Illinois allows Illinois sited wine, craft beer and spirits retailers to ship directly to Illinois consumers. A classic commerce clause question that, but for the fact that it involves alcohol, would be resolved in the out of state retailers’ favor under current Commerce Clause jurisprudence. In applying Granholm v. Heald and rendering decisions in its wake, some circuits chose…
An improvement for Illinois brewpub operators from Chicago to Effingham just passed the Illinois House and is on its way to the Senate. HB 3610 amends the Illinois Liquor Control Act’s brewpub provisions (specifically, 235 ILCS 5/5-1(n)). The new law allows wholly owned and operated Illinois brewpubs (same licensee) to both combine their production limits to spread them across facilities (155,000 gallons are the current production limits per brewpub whether you’re in Chicago and serving liquor under a Chicago tavern license like a bar or whether you’re in Peoria, Illinois). This would allow a small brewpub and a…
Are consumers under a misimpression that corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are the same thing? Are beer drinkers fooled by thinking Miller Lite and Coors Light contain corn syrup when an ad says that they are “brewed with corn syrup?” A court will soon be assessing the question. MillerCoors filed a motion for preliminary injunction yesterday in the recent lawsuit over the Anheuser-Busch corn syrup advertisements, replete with a declaration from the “Vice President of Global Brewing, Quality, Innovation and Technical Governance for Molson Coors” stating: “I understand that [Anheuser-Busch] does use HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] in some…
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock back in February of 2018 Stone Brewing sued MillerCoors arguing that the new MillerCoors design on Keystone cans infringed on Stone’s trademark and that MillerCoors was intentionally playing up the “STONE” in Keystone to confuse consumers. Take a look: Here’s the complaint Stone filed. In response MillerCoors answered that complaint and filed counterclaims of its own (link to answer and counterclaims). You can read the answer and counterclaims here. On Tuesday a federal judge sided with MillerCoors on both issues (link to order). Refusing to Grant a preliminary injunction
If special interests don’t try to kill the bills, Illinois could soon allow craft distillers to self-distribute and increase the allowable gallonage limits for craft spirits under the craft distillers license. The most recent version of the House Bill introduced yesterday, HB 2674, a companion Senate Bill is 1190, would amend the Illinois Liquor Control Act and create Class 1 and Class 2 Craft Distillers licenses, a craft spirits Craft Distiller Warehouse Permit, and a craft based Distilling Pub. Under the proposed Class 1 Craft Distillers license, a Class 1 craft distillery in Illinois would be allowed to…