ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
ALCOHOL LAW ADVISOR
Regulatory and Distribution Law Updates for the Alcohol Industry
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Recent Retailer Direct Shipping Opinion Illustrates Stakes in Upcoming Supreme Court Review

The recent US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan opinion strikes down a Michigan statue and authorizes out-of-state retailers to sell and ship wine directly to Michigan consumers. Lebamoff Enterprises v. Snyder, E.D. Mich. Case No. 17-10191 (Sept. 28, 2018). More fundamentally, the Lebamoff decision underscores the stakes in the upcoming (as of September 27) Supreme Court review of the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Byrd v. Tenn. Wine and Spirits Retailers Ass’n. The Lebamoff case involves 2016 legislation that amended Michigan law to: (1) make it easier for in-state retailers to ship directly to consumers by employing third-party carriers and (2) prohibit completely the sale and shipment of alcohol beverages to Michigan consumers by out-of-state retailers. The plaintiffs include an Indiana retail chain, its owner and several Michigan wine consumers. The Lebamoff opinion first recaps the familiar dormant Commerce Clause analysis that: (a) asks...

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District Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Deception Claims against Brewer

On January 17, 2018, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision in yet another putative class action alleging that a beer brand’s labeling and marketing was false and deceptive. In this case, the defendant is The 21st Amendment Brewery Café (21st Amendment), a successful California-based craft brewery. See Peacock v. The 21st Amendment Brewery Café, LLC, N.D. Cal. No. 17-cv-01918-JST (Jan. 17, 2018). 21st Amendment originated in the San Francisco Bay area, but it produces a substantial quantity of its beer under contract in Minnesota. Bottles and cans of 21st Amendment beers—even those produced in Minnesota—state “Brewed & Canned by 21st Amendment Brewery, San Leandro, CA,” as permitted by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) “principal place of business” labeling regulations. 21st Amendment beer cartons show a map of the Bay Area with an “X” designating the location of their Bay Area brewery...

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