Inherent Vice and Vertical Integration

May. 18, 2017

If you’ve read Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice or seen the Paul Thomas Anderson film based on the novel, you know a little bit about vertical integration.  In the novel, the Golden Fang – a shady conglomerate – imports and sells heroin to users, operates a massive dental operation to help heroin and other drug addicts […]

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Craft Beer Industry Growth Continues

Apr. 04, 2017

The Brewers Association (BA), a trade association representing small and independent craft brewers, released data on March 28, 2017 on the growth of craft brewing in the U.S.  There were over 5,300 breweries operating during the year.  For some perspective, that means there are nearly as many craft breweries in the U.S. as there are […]

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Third Party Beer Distribution — Yay or Nay?

Mar. 03, 2017

Brewers, especially new brewers, face the issue of whether to self distribute their product or rely on a third party beer distributor. Luckily enough, most states give you the right to choose. In Minnesota, for example, you can be licensed to self distribute instead of partnering with a distributor, up to a certain brewing and […]

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411 on Alcohol Delivery

Feb. 17, 2017

Since its founding, Amazon has been magically presenting you with almost any product you desire at the click of a button. Amazon has continued to make shopping online easier with the introduction of Amazon Prime, offering free two day shipping for an annual fee, which includes no minimum order size and millions of eligible items. […]

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411 on Minneapolis Zoning Laws for Breweries

Feb. 03, 2017

Zoning laws, city ordinances, zoning codes….are you lost yet? Zoning laws are long and confusing, but they determine who can build what in different parts of the state. So all we ultimately care about is, where can we brew our beer, ferment our wine, and distill our spirits? Before you can begin brewing the gorgeous […]

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Man and Woman’s Two Best Friends, Lawfully Together at Last?

Jan. 20, 2017

Few things beat a good summer day out on a brewery patio with a crisp beer and your dog at your side.  Unfortunately, the Hoppy Lawyers live in Minneapolis, where hanging out outdoors for portions of the year can result in some nasty frostbite and currently, our furry family members are not legally allowed inside […]

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Can the Beer Industry and the Marijuana Industry Co-Exist?

Jan. 13, 2017

A number of alcoholic beverage industry members have taken a strong stance against the legalization of marijuana.  A beer distributor political action committee (PAC), for example, gave $25,000 to a group in Massachusetts that was opposing the ballot measure to legalize marijuana.  Some larger breweries, including Boston Beer Company (producer of Sam Adams beers) have […]

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Is the MN Craft Brewery Bubble About to Pop?

Dec. 14, 2016

We Minnesotans like our beer. Specifically, we like our craft beer. Our local craft beer. The Beer Dabbler at the annual Winter Carnival is now the largest craft beer festival in the Midwest, and Surly Darkness Day has become a sort of dark holiday for self-proclaimed craft beer nerds looking to score something new and […]

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Trademark Infringement Cases in the Brewery Industry & How to Avoid Them

Sep. 16, 2016

Some of you may be aware that there is an ongoing lawsuit between two Minneapolis breweries about a trademark dispute – Smokehouse Brewpub, LLC v. Lucid Brewing LLC.  An oversimplified breakdown of the facts at issue looks like this: Smokehouse Brewpub, LLC (Smokehouse) files an application with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for NORTHBOUND […]

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