On December 22, 2017, in one of the fastest-moving pieces of legislation to come across a President’s desk, President Trump signed into law a bill generally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” The Act will undoubtedly affect most individuals and businesses beginning with the 2018 tax year. Verrill Dana’s Tax Practice has prepared a comprehensive client advisory highlighting many of the major tax reform changes, including the numerous changes to how beer, wine and distilled spirits are taxed. These particular changes related to the beverage industry are only effective for the 2018 and 2019 tax years. (more…)
Posts by: beveragelaw
This spring, the craft brewing community will take over America’s Music City for the Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, presented by the Brewers Association, from April 30 to May 3. Joining them at this year’s conference is Verrill Dana’s own Jonathan Dunitz who will co-present, “From 1 Barrel to 1,000: Managing Risk from Start-Up to Rapid Growth,” with GHM Insurance Agency’s James Sanborn, Macpage’s Brad Weller, and Maine Beer Company’s Daniel Kleban.
In an article for Craft Brewing Business, Lawyers on Tap attorney Jonathan Dunitz discusses how an improperly cleaned tap line can lead to not only serious lifelong health problems for the beer drinker, but also a significant verdict against the establishment who served the beer and its vendor. The $750,000 verdict outlined in the article should be an eye opener for any establishment with tap lines, whether the cleaning is done in-house or contracted to an outside vendor. A proactive risk management plan is a great way to keep your customers and employees safe, at a cost far less expensive than the cost of defending a case and paying a settlement of jury verdict. From flushing the lines with water to testing the tap with a pH strip, be sure to develop thorough protocols and checklists. Equally as important are getting vendors on the same page and ensuring you have adequate insurance to cover a loss if it does occur. (more…)
Changes in the shipping routes have placed Maine businesses on the doorstep of the Arctic and Northern Europe. Thanks to the addition of Eimskip, it now costs less to ship a container to Norway than it does to truck it to Maryland. On Thursday, October 19, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Verrill Dana’s North Atlantic & Artic Group will host a full day seminar exploring how businesses can take advantage of these opportunities. (more…)
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…)
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…)
As the number of craft breweries across the country continues to grow, Verrill Dana’s Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries Group presents Tap Tips Podcast Miniseries to help brewers on the journey from passion to profit.
The miniseries contains eight episodes to assist up-and-coming brewmasters and brewery owners to think critically about the issues affecting their business. These podcasts provide information and practical tips for navigating the various complex issues that may arise at any stage, from business formation to licensing to risk management. (more…)
In this episode of Verrill Voices: What’s Brewing in Real Estate, Spencer Thibodeau interviews Bob Gaudreau of Hardypond Construction, about one of the construction company’s recent, and unique, projects. The discussion takes place over a flight at Allagash Brewing Company and focuses on the renovation and repurposing of a neighborhood church into a multi-unit residential building. Learn more about the challenges Bob and his team faced throughout the process, and how they overcame them to showcase the building’s features, while creating a practical residential space. Listen to the podcast here or subscribe to Verrill Voices on iTunes. Photos from the recording can be found on Verrill Dana’s Facebook page. (more…)
On June 24, the people of Reykjavik, Iceland will get a taste of Maine in their hometown – 78 taps of beer to be exact. After years of planning and a great deal of collaboration between the Maine Brewers Guild and various brewers and industry partners throughout the state, the Maine Beer Box, a traveling international beer festival, was born. The 40-foot refrigerated shipping container features 78 taps from more than 50 Maine breweries. After completing the nine-day maiden voyage to Iceland, the beer will be served to more than 1,000 people at the BjórFestival. (more…)
On June 8, Verrill Dana attorney, Tawny Alvarez, will participate in a panel discussion entitled, “Brewing Up a Small Business: Legal Issues Affecting Maine’s Craft Breweries,” hosted by the Cumberland Bar Association at Preti Flaherty in Portland, Maine. Joining Tawny are Perkins Thompson attorney Christopher Dargie and Maine Beer Company founder Dan Kleban. The Maine Beer Company has grown from a one-barrel operation in 2009 to a nationally recognized brewery now in the process of its second major expansion in four years. (more…)