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 Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has announced that the applications for the state’s second round of Business Interruption Grants go live on September 17. In the second round, an additional $220 million is available for small businesses in Illinois. The first round was a success – you can see the list of grant recipients here. The second round is open to all small businesses meeting the criteria, but there are…
Citing to dictionary definitions of “margarita,” “mojito,” “rose,” and “spritz,” a group of Anheuser-Busch-Rita-beverage-buying consumers is looking to get some money claiming they (and potentially all other purchasers) were duped into buying Anheuser’s Rita “Cosmos” and “Mojitos” expecting beverages made with spirits and not malt beverage bases.  Demonstrative from Complaint These packaging examples from the complaint (link to complaint) demonstrate the main points, detailed through argument – that the use of certain words, both in…
With Illinois’s limited cannabis dispensary licensing system the stakes are large for applicants that didn’t achieve the total 252 points that would allow participation in the upcoming lottery for the award of the provisional applications. A group of applicants that did not make the cut filed a lawsuit challenging the process and pointing out irregularities with the scoring process and questioning the fundamental fairness of the judging. Key assertions made in the complaint include statements…
Illinois’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has posted the list of tied applicants who will be proceeding to drawings for the 75 conditional dispensary licenses. You can find the list here (link to their website) in case that doesn’t work, here’s the text: https://www.idfpr.com/Forms/AUC/2020%20Top%20scorer%20document.pdf Also, here. (grabbed it natively) The post Illinois posts list of tied cannabis dispensary applicants that will proceed to lottery for new dispensary licenses appeared first on Libation Law
A pair of farm wineries challenged a portion of Minnesota’s farm winery law that mandates the farm winery produce its wines from ingredients grown or produced in Minnesota as violating the dormant commerce clause by favoring in-state Minnesota wine ingredient producers over out-of-state (and also a claim for foreign commerce clause violation) wine ingredient producers. Here’s the way the statute read: Subd. 11.Farm winery. “Farm winery” is a winery operated by the owner of a…
Bell’s Brewery is racking up wins for brewers’ rights to obtain arbitration where agreements mandate arbitrations between the parties but distributors look to state franchise laws try to preempt those rights. The sad fact is that many parties do not understand how advantageous to their relationship a good arbitration provision can be. Arbitration allows parties to craft the scope of their proceedings in fashions such as agreeing to limit discovery, agreeing to a timetable to…
A beef in Florida over an ancient state food purity law’s right to beat out a federal regulation allowing the banned ingredient (grains of paradise) is coming to an appellate conclusion. Briefly,  the appeal involves a recent preemption win that Bacardi had when a consumer brought suit against Bacardi based on a 150-year-old law on Florida’s books regarding some compounds and ingredients that, prior to decent Federal regulation and at a time when little was…
We’ve written quite a bit over the years about Illinois’ beer franchise statute – the Beer Industry Fair Dealing Act (BIFDA) and lectured ad nausea regarding how this law that was meant to help small distributors against large brewers has now been turned on its head by economic conditions and is a cudgel used by powerful distributors to beat down small brewers. The Illinois legislature has been negligent in not taking up the issue of…
Full disclosure, we’re a sponsor of the Hospitality Business Association of Chicago and respect and admire their tireless and timely work on behalf of Chicago liquor licensees, Chicago restaurants, and in providing Chicago liquor law related information.  During the COVID-19 topsy-turvy the HBAC has been updating and regularly reporting on Chicago liquor licensee and Chicago restaurant licensee issues relevant to re-opening, liquor license and retail food license enforcement, inspections, required documentation, and signage.  As part…
This fight has the industry on the edge of its chair. It involves the interplay and nebulous no-man’s-land between state and federal laws regarding cannabis.  The US Attorney’s office in Southern California is representing the DEA in a subpoena enforcement kerfuffle against the State of California and its Bureau of Cannabis Control that arose after the DEA sent a subpoena demanding the production of specific documents (licenses,license applications, and shipping manifests), for six adult-use cannabis…