Starting a Brewery Law Practice: My CLE Series with LexVid

Danielle Teagarden Brewery Attorney
I pulled together interesting beverage law content for this CLE Series, geared toward someone thinking about developing this practice area.

The brewing business sure is brewing, isn’t it? With this growth has come a need for beverage-savvy attorneys across the United States. Breweries are getting bigger. They’re doing innovative things. They’re collaborating. They’re releasing more brands. They’re pushing the edges of the regs. They’re advocating for changes. They’re looking for a path forward, and they can’t do it all alone.

Doug and I have a lot of fun helping breweries everyday. And, I have a lot of fun waxing poetic about beverage law here, while showing my trademark geek badge quite frequently. Although most of my posts are geared toward our would-be breweries or are framed to spark the interest of those already practicing in this field, we regularly hear from another set of readers—attorneys and law students interested in developing a practice that includes beverage law in one way or another.

I don’t want those emails to stop, but I do want to announce a helpful resource now out there for those thinking about practicing in this area. I teamed up with online CLE provider LexVid a few months back to put together a streamable CLE series on exploring beverage law as a practice area. I made it brewery specific in my examples, but the content carries over to whatever kind of beverages or beverage clients strike your fancy: wine, mead, cider, spirits, and so on.

The first module provides background on beverage law, dials you into important regulatory issues, and then offers insight about how to help your first start-up brewery client. The second module is my favorite; it focuses on intellectual property issues you’ll want to be familiar with to effectively help your beverage businesses. Depending on where you’re licensed, you can scoop up 2-3 hours of CLE credits for the whole set. I also believe LexVid does a free hour of CLEs, so you can get your feet wet without jumping all the way in.

I hope you find the content helpful!

Read More

Proud to Officially Join Reiser Legal as a Washington Beer Attorney

It’s official! I’ve joined Reiser Legal as a beer attorney licensed in Washington State. Having gotten to know Reiser Legal’s incredible set of passionate and ambitious brewery owners as a law clerk this past year, it means a lot to now officially partner in pursuing all of your unique visions.

I know that Doug Reiser’s tremendous industry knowledge, relentless work ethic, and straightforward legal approach are responsible for Reiser Legal’s growth. I know that because they’re the very reasons I’ve wanted to work alongside Doug ever since I got to know him years ago, when we started waxing poetic about what beer law—and a beer lawyer—can and should be. They’re the reasons I changed course, moved to Seattle, and am so excited and proud to make this announcement.

One of many great taproom adventures, this time raising a glass at the beautiful Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI. I  grew up learning to ski nearby at Timber Ridge Ski Area and then, years later, learned the beauty of the after-slopes brew at Bell's.
One of many great taproom adventures, this time raising a glass at the beautiful Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI. I grew up learning to ski nearby at Timber Ridge Ski Area then learned the beauty of the after-slopes brew at Bell’s.

I should say, I am a huge fan of this industry, its people, and its culture, and maybe I have been before exactly knowing it. Back twenty years ago, it was my parents who started seeking out family-friendly brewpubs on our vacations, observing that local beer and breweries were a great way to get a feel for an area. To be sure, there weren’t nearly as many options in those days as there are today, but they’re still right about local culture speaking in its beer.

Like all of you, from my first batch of homebrew, I was hooked. As I’ve been traveling that long, winding, sudsy path, I’ve made some good ones and some great ones, and mostly a lot of friends in fellow homebrewers along the way. And I can say that on my end, as my garage became increasingly filled with beer gadgets and fresh grain bills, my head, too, was increasingly filled with all the ways breweries and the law intersected. While I spent my free time thinking, researching, and writing about it, I wound up doing work championing breweries with the Brewers of Indiana Guild, publishing an extensive piece about beer law reform in Indiana, and pouring beers on the side at an Indianapolis brewery in its first year of operation, all before packing my things and heading west to help push forward Reiser Legal’s mission. I see that mission as a simple one: be the most knowledgeable beer law shop out there, stay small and down to earth, never lose touch with the industry and what matters to it, and always make sure we’re doing things at reasonable rates that growing breweries can afford. My personal sub-mission at Reiser Legal will be to draw on my extensive intellectual property training, developing forward-thinking brand-protection tools and strategies, while managing our portfolio of trademarks.

I can’t wait to get to know all of you even better. It means a lot to be a part of your trusted team of counsel, and you can be sure that Doug and I will work hard together to best help build, protect, and defend your brewing business.

Read More

Washington’s Chuckanut Brewery Takes Home Coveted Awards at Great American Beer Fest

Chuckanut Pilsner, Kolsch and Alt. Wonderful.


Congratulations to the wonderful people at Chuckanut Brewery, who took home the coveted Small Brewing Company of the Year award at the Great American Beer Fest. But, that wasn’t all. The Bellingham brewery took home Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year (Nice work Will!), two golds (Helles and Kolsch), a silver (Dunkel) and a bronze (Alt). Their haul is beyond comparison, and a testament to their creativity and unmatched quality.


If you haven’t been up to Bellingham to visit the brewery, expect a friendly and intimate look at one of the country’s best small brewers. At the brewpub, you can sit along the inlet, taste excellent local food and even poke into the brewery and smell the fine scent of German Alt, Kolsch and Helles.


What I love about this brewery – their commitment to making perfectly crafted German beer, in a NW market. We have a tendency to ignore anything that doesn’t have more than 50 IBU or 7% ABV. Its just the way of the NW, where we dig our big beer. But Chuckanut is passionate about crafting perfectly balanced beers with utmost clarity. In fact, I have never seen any brewer (not even in Germany) work clarity from filtering the way that Will Kemper does. Kudos to the Kempers for bringing incredible German beer to this great state.


Read More

A Great Collection of Alcoholic Beverage Law Blogs

Fermentation's list of AB law writers is a good one.

I came across this wonderful blog by Tom Warks, today. Tom runs Fermentation: The Daily Wine Blog, a blog typically discussing the public relations within the wine world.

Tom regularly focuses on legal issues facing the wine industry and so he put together a list of some of the best alcoholic beverage law blogs out there. Included was a humble yours truly, amongst a wonderful crowd of legal minds.

Check out his list of legal blogs by following this link. There are an abundance of blogs for just about every taste in the alcoholic beverages law spectrum.

One blog of particular interest to myself, and likely most of you, is the Alcoholic Beverages Law Blog. This blog is written by the Portland office of well-respected law office, Stoel Rives LLP.

The blog is written by a collective of attorney out of the firms offices in Washington, Oregon and California. Seattle attorney, Susan Johnson, offers her own perspective from time to time, including this write up on the liquor Initiatives (1100 & 1105) currently on the ballot in Washington.

Thanks to Tom for including my blog in this list of elite commentators.

Read More