Chris Hermann

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Chris Hermann is the founding chair of Stoel Rives' Brewery, Winery, and Distillery group and a former co-chair of the firm's Beverage and Hospitality group. He has worked with Northwest breweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries for many years. Chris has particular experience with transactions involving the purchase, sale, and LLC formation of breweries, wineries, vineyards, and distilleries, preparing and prosecuting trademark applications, obtaining water rights and land use permits and approvals, advising owners on employment and termination agreements, and drafting and negotiating grape purchase contracts, vineyard leases and custom crush, joint proprietorship, vineyard development and maintenance, and bottling and distribution agreements. Since 2013, Chris has been listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Nationwide) in the Food & Beverages: Alcohol practice area.

Latest Articles

This post was guest authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Nina Neff. Because of the increasing frequency of significant, often multimillion-dollar, environmental claims against businesses and individuals under environmental statutes such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, it is important for any potentially liable entity to fully explore how the costs may be shifted in whole or in part to others. Washington insurance law has traditionally been highly favorable to policyholders, broadly…
The following is an adaptation by my colleague Tony DeCristoforo of a post by Bryan Hawkins, Kirk Maag and Adam Belzberg that originally appeared on Stoel Rives World of Employment blog. California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed AB 1066, which will require grape growers and other agricultural employers in California to pay overtime under the same conditions as non-agricultural businesses. The bill is the first of its kind in the nation. California law defines employees “employed…
By Chris Hermann and Bernie Kipp: Type of Transaction – Asset Purchase versus Stock Purchase. Very important if the acquiring entity wants an immediate continuing operations privilege. Specifically If a PE firm  purchases the assets of the target company  (including the operating name, equipment, IP, inventory and the current brewery  building) and intends to do business post-closing through a new legal entity, TTB will consider that a Change in Proprietorship and 27 CFR 25.72…
Due to the explosive growth of craft beer sales in many states, including Washington, many distributors are combining non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage sales into their distribution business.  A key point for Washington distributors is to be aware that the Washington Liquor Control Board (WLCB) contends that the so-called “Tied-House” rules governing the sale of alcoholic beverages apply to any such distributors sale of non-alcoholic, as well as, alcoholic beverages. While the WLCB may not be…
Congratulations to Pascal Brooks and Janie Heuck for their tremendous success growing Brooks Winery and keeping alive the memory of Pascal’s father and Janie’s brother Jimi.  We join them in looking forward to viewing Strange Inheritance With Jamie Colby that tells the amazing story of their journey to preserve the winery for Pascal, which was his late father’s wish. The show is scheduled to air on Fox Business Network on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at…
The following post was written by my colleagues Tom Woods, Parissa Ebrahimzadeh & Bao Vu As part of the Northern California business community and as an advisor to business, we support the Napa and the surrounding Bay Area in getting homes and businesses back on their feet following the August 24, 2014 Napa Valley earthquake. The earthquake that rocked Napa Valley and nearby regions left an estimated $1 billion in damages, according to a…
This post is authored by Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources lawyer Kirk Maag of Stoel Rives. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a temporary policy regarding the use of water from Reclamation reservoirs for activities prohibited by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (CSA)—for example, growing marijuana. The temporary policy is effective for one year. The policy was prompted by the recent legalization of marijuana in states like Washington and Colorado. Similar initiatives are…
Before entering into a distribution agreement, alcohol beverage producers should do their homework. Here is a list of questions to ask a potential distributor: Where are you doing business as a distributor? How long have you been in business? How did you get started? Is your state a franchise state? Are you affiliated with a particular large beer, wine, or spirits producer? Are you independent? What is your product mix? Do you already have products…
Stoel Rives’ 7th Annual Oregon Wine Law Seminar attracted nearly 100 wine industry professionals and covered several hot topics ranging from employment law, allergen and organic labeling regulations, growler enforcement and other legislative updates, and distribution agreements. We also caught up with Mark Freund, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank, Kevin O’Brien, Director – Business Advisory, Irvine & Company, LLC, Artie Weiner, Director of Finance, King Estate Winery, and Mario Zepponi, Wine Industry M&A Advisor, Zepponi…
By Chris Hermann and Bernie Kipp: The recent notice of the proposed new AVA “The Rocks” in northeast Oregon has kicked off a round of questions about what Northwest wineries may use as an appellation of origin on their labels when grapes are grown in multi-state AVAs such as the Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Gorge, Snake River Valley, or the newly proposed “The Rocks” AVA. What all of these viticultural areas, except…