Ashley Brandt

Answering the need for more accessible libation legal information, Ashley Brandt started the Libation Law Blog with the hope to address real questions for real food and beverage clients. Located in Chicago, Ashley’s belief in readily available information drives the blog and his law practice out of Goldstein & McClintock.

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The lack of coherent information combined with social media rumor mills led the Illinois Liquor Control Commission to issue a stern rebuke regarding the greatly exaggerated claims that alcohol sales were banned, being banned, partially banned, etc., today. The misinformation sparked the following rebuke: ILCC – Notice Alcohol Sales Continue Additionally, to clear up some misconceptions about what bars and restaurants can sell to go, the ILCC also put out a bulletin regarding pre-mixed drinks
On March 28, Governor Pritzker signed an Executive Order (it’s EO #2020-17, but we’re doing a weird thing in Illinois by keeping track of the “COVID-19” orders as well, so it’s also got this weird COVID-19 EO No. 15 moniker) extending the current March 30 (already extended from March 16) deadline for Illinois’s new craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses to April 30. Which means that the applications likely won’t get scored and awarded…
Molson Coors has prevailed over Future Proof in Future Proofs attempt to secure a preliminary injunction against Molson to prohibit Molson from producing its “Vizzy” branded hard seltzers on account of a likelihood of confusion with Future Proof’s “Brizzy” hard seltzers.  As we wrote back in February, for this lawsuit to have legs, a court would necessarily have to find that by calling a hard seltzer “Brizzy” the beverage company making the hard seltzer had…
Hopefully we’ll be updating this list soon and often with news of new government programs and available funds meant to stem the tide of the financial crisis caused for the hospitality (and hospitality adjacent) businesses by the epidemic. If we are missing resources and you have them to share, please hit us up through the contact page and we’ll get them posted. At present, here are resources for you: 1. The SBA Disaster Relief:  What’s…
Like many states with cannabis programs, Illinois has been at work making accommodations during the current epidemic. Illinois’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s updated procedures and policies regarding marijuana sales and has offered guidance and guidelines to help dispensaries navigate updated methods of operation. However, while states like Nevada and Michigan have authorized deliveries and acknowledged the benefit of delivery service in helping protect those at risk and slow the spread of the virus,…
Like many state liquor regulatory authorities, Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue is working to provide clarity and guidance during the current COVID-19 crisis. Unlike many state alcoholic beverage control authorities, Wisconsin’s officials and its Department of Revenue do not appear to be pushing the envelope to help struggling breweries, restaurants, bars, distilleries, and wineries in expanding rights on a limited basis while certain operations are restricted. Wisconsin’s liquor control authority, the Department of Revenue, has…
Bars, restaurants, and brewpubs – from chains to stand-alone locations — were already facing significant headwinds in 2019 due to higher payroll costs (including due to minimum wage increases), increasing consumer preference for take-out, and other factors. This resulted in numerous bankruptcies, including from well-known chains such as Houlihan’s, Perkins, Granite City Food & Brewery, Kona Grill, and numerous others. The impact of COVID-19 on an already challenged industry has been devastating and promises to…
Last night the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (these people are working tirelessly) posted an updated FAQ addressing questions from the industry related to Illinois’s new Executive Order 2020-10, the Stay at Home order that goes into effect tonight. As we posted yesterday, Illinois’s breweries, wineries, and distilleries, restaurants, and cannabis dispensaries are essential businesses under this order and can continue operations (no on-premise consumption or dining, of course). In addition to confirming the essential nature…
On Friday afternoon, as the Chicago Tribune reported he would, Governor Pritzker ordered Illinois to stay at home and that many businesses cease operating apart from letting their employees work from home. Thankfully for much of the hospitality industry and its support network, the businesses that supply alcohol, cannabis, and meals are considered essential businesses. Here’s the language that enacts that: 12. Essential Businesses and Operations. For the purposes of this Executive Order, Essential Businesses…