Archives: September 2017

Lawyers on Tap: Risk Management Podcast Series

In a special three-part miniseries for the Verrill Voices podcast, attorney Jonathan Dunitz discusses risk management for breweries and brewpubs with a successful brewery owner, a leading insurance agent in the craft beverage industry, and an experienced corporate attorney. The podcast series takes owners of new and growing breweries through various considerations focused on limiting their risk exposure. In the first episode, Jonathan and Rising Tide Brewing Company founder Heather Sanborn discuss how policies, checklists and best practices should be implemented to reduce exposure to risk that could threaten the brewery. In the second episode, Jonathan and James Sanborn, insurance agent and manager of GHM Insurance’s Craft Beverage Program, discuss insurance, and the unique coverage needs of brewery owners to mitigate the specific kinds of risk impacting them and their business. The final episode, featuring Jonathan and fellow Verrill Dana attorney Mark Googins, focuses on the ways in which contracts may shift risk among parties doing business together. (more…)

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Social Media is an (age) gated community

Few brewers would dream of serving someone in their brewery or tasting room without checking an ID to ensure that all the craft beer lovers in the room are of legal drinking age.  When it comes to their virtual breweries and tasting rooms, however, there appears to be a bit of laxness in ensuring that everyone is age appropriate.   The problem with ignoring the age of virtual visitors is that Marketing and Advertising Codes issued by industry associations require age gates for websites and on social media. Age gates are also recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”).

Most craft breweries have age gates on their websites, but many are ineffective and fail to meet the Marketing and Advertising Code or the FTC’s recommendations.  There are, with some variations, three basic types of age gates for websites.  First, there are what I would call passive age gates.  These simply state that by viewing the website the viewer agrees or acknowledges that he or she is 21 or older.  It is often at the bottom of the page or another location where it is easily missed or ignored.  Second, are age gates that require some interaction, but nothing more than a simple click.  These have a popup or landing page that ask whether the viewer is at least 21, requiring the user to click on “yes” or “no” to enter the website.  Obviously, if the viewer wants to get into the website, he or she will click yes regardless of age. Third, are age gates that actually require the underage user to do some math to gain entry.  While a diligent viewer will figure it out, these age gates require a bit more of the user than simply opening the webpage or clicking “yes.”  Instead, the user is required to enter his or her date of birth – and that date of birth must be at least 21 years earlier – before gaining access to the website. (more…)

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Out of the (Maine Beer) Box: Standing Out in a Global Marketplace

After traveling to Iceland with more than a dozen of Maine’s brewers to greet the Maine Beer Box at the Bjorfestival in Reykijavik, Verrill Dana Attorney Tawny Alvarez reflected on the importance of standing out in a global marketplace in an article for the Craft Brand & Marketing Magazine. Within the article, Tawny touches upon the ever-expanding dilemma between differentiating your brewery in a growing marketplace and adhering to regulations and increased limitations on label images. While they can create hurdles, regulations shouldn’t stop breweries from thinking global or expanding their geographic reach.  Tawny explains how the Maine Brewers Guild’s Maine Beer Box is a great example of an organization in the brewing community that thought (in and) out of the box to share Maine’s craft breweries with the people of Iceland. What creative avenues can your brewery can tap into to help stand out in the growing craft brewing community? (more…)

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