Tip Pooling Among Employees: Do Not Jump Right In

Jul. 19, 2017

Last week, a judge ruled in favor of a former bartender from Surly Brewing Co., who filed suit against the brewery on behalf of over 100 current and former bartenders and wait staff who have worked at Surly starting in 2014.  The lawsuit claimed that Surly violated Minnesota law by requiring servers and bartenders to […]

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Descriptive Trademark Vs. Suggestive Trademark Issues: Mixed Culture

Jul. 11, 2017

Fair State Brewing Cooperative throws an annual party celebrating wild, sour, and mixed fermentation beers entitled “Mixed Culture,” a name they wanted to make sure was protected. Thus a trademark application was filed with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The PTO, however, initially responded that the mark was “merely descriptive.” In response to the […]

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Things to Consider When Opening a Brewery: Dos & Don’ts of Business Relationships

Jun. 19, 2017

Starting a brewery takes passion, bravery, a solid business plan, and plenty of capital. Don’t forget about familiarizing yourself with the local regulatory environment and zoning laws. Amidst all the stress and excitement — and paperwork — of opening a brewery, one thing you may forget to consider is making friends with your neighbors. We’re […]

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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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