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The following is a student article written for my last craft beer law class at McGeorge.  The student author is Katie Green, and as a “reward” for receiving the highest grade in the class, here is her article for your reading pleasure.  Ms. Green makes an interesting argument about why craft beer needs to explore PACs instead of relying on grassroots movements.  And with all the whisperings I keep hearing about craft beer PACs, maybe…
Many people lament big beer purchasing former craft breweries and folding them into the global collective. The reasons behind the aversion vary from person to person. I like to play a game whereby I send out a friend or a family member and ask that person to bring back some “craft beer” from the grocery store. Inevitably, that person brings back a Golden Road or a Saint Archer with a smile on his or her…
Alcoholic beverage control agencies across the U.S. prohibit inducements. That is, a brewery can’t “induce” a patron to buy a beer through means of solicitation, payment, free goods, or other things of value. For example, California Business & Professions Code section 24200.5(b) requires mandatory license revocation if a brewer allows “any persons to solicit or encourage others, directly or indirectly to buy drinks in the licensed premises under any commission, percentage, salary, or other profit-sharing…
  With the California legislative cycle coming to a close, California independent craft beer received an unexpected boost from Governor Brown. AB 2573, an Anheuser-Busch sponsored bill, passed the legislature. But last Wednesday (on the first day of the California Craft Brewers Association (“CCBA”) 2018 Summit), Governor Brown vetoed the bill with a nice explanation. More on that later. AB 2573, as originally introduced, would have allowed a beer manufacturer to give a licensed retailer…
During my craft beer law class this summer at McGeorge, many students were surprised to hear about the many ways that Big Beer seeks to restore lost market share. One way in particular that seemed to rankle their eager minds is how Big Beer quietly impacts the supply chain that independent craft brewers (and home brewers) rely on. There are several ways that Big Beer uses the market to continue to dominate production. But there…
As a bit of a jaded reward for writing a great paper in my Craft Beer Law class, the following is a very interesting paper written by a rock-star McGeorge student, Megan McCauley.  Megan has been a standout student in two of my classes–especially Craft Beer Law.  What I find most interesting about her piece is the idea of creating a dispute resolution mechanism for Brewers Association members to lessen the potential for brewer-on-brewer litigation. …
This last weekend (2/16-2/18), I had the honor and privilege of teaching the first craft beer law class offered at a U.S. law school (and I believe worldwide). Several of my friends and colleagues are asking me what the heck that looks like.  It must be a joke, right?  Nope.  I’m pretty sure California’s 921 craft breweries would agree with me. To start, as is often the case with new classes, McGeorge offered this class…
So what a brewery says on labels and packaging is important. And consumer protection laws (including false advertising laws) are important. Add these two concepts up, and it appears to be class action heaven.  Brewers can avoid this nasty equation by being as up front as possible on both labels and packaging, especially about where a particular beer comes from. One Northern District of California lawsuit involves Kona Brewing Company (Broomfiled v. Craft Brew Alliance). …
Have you seen this yet? Ignore the interesting syllabic presentation. It’s not quite news anymore in the craft beer world that the Brewers Association recently created this seal so that members can use it on their marketing and products.  So what does this seal mean?  Why is it significant? According to the BA, the “independent craft brewer seal is a handy tool for enthusiasts to easily differentiate beer from craft brewers and beer produced by other,…
The list of Big Beer owned crafty breweries keeps getting larger (many known as ABI’s “High End”). That is, until ABI recently announced that it is out of its craft brewery acquisition phase.  The focus now, according to ABI, will be on an organic growth.  Check out Good Beer Hunting’s article on this topic here: http://goodbeerhunting.com/sightlines/2017/9/7/anheuser-busch-inbev-the-high-end-layoffs Perhaps what is most striking in this age of consolidation is the stark contrast between the way independent craft…