Business

Craft Consulting: New Lawyers Guild Wants Brewers to Collaborate

The newly formed Craft Beverage Lawyers Guild wants to ensure that lawyers who represent makers of alcoholic beverages are working together on the complexities of regulation.

Craft beverages have legal needs, too—and a new trade group hopes to suss them out.

The Craft Beverage Lawyers Guild (CBLG), announced last week, hopes to help small-scale beverage-makers—whether they are focused on beer or on something a little stronger or more exotic—make sense of the often-complicated alcohol laws at the state and federal levels. Large companies like Budweiser owner Anheuser-Busch InBev have the legal budgets to jump through regulatory hoops, but smaller companies may not.

The industry’s fast growth is part of what’s driving the new collaboration. Companies like New Belgium Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Brewery, and the Craft Brew Alliance brew what would be considered household names among beer fans, including Fat Tire and Redhook. (The group doesn’t want to limit itself to beer, however.)

“Our group reflects that this industry is growing and … taking market share away from the big breweries,” CBLG cofounder Eugene Pak told The Associated Press.

Pak, a California lawyer who cofounded the group with Michigan-based lawyer Joe Infante, noted that there’s a collaborative nature to the industry—one that the group is reflecting in its name by calling it a “guild.”

In comments to MiBiz, Infante noted that the group’s goal is to boost collaboration within the industry and ensure those taking part are willing to “show an effort to be involved in the industry.”

“This is not just a referral source,” Infante told the website. “It certainly won’t hurt members’ individual businesses. But the reason we formed is because we want to make sure suppliers are getting good representation. This industry is more sophisticated than it was 15 years ago.”

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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