An Article by Mark Blankenship

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Bar and nightclub consultant Jon Taffer described alcohol establishments as “part of America’s fiber”, which is arguably true to this day and age.[1]  Between 2008 to 2018, the number of breweries in the United States rose from 1,574 to 7,450.  Additionally, in 2018, 8,391 wineries were established in North America, 7,762 of which were in the U.S.[2]  As a result, the concept of alcoholic beverage law has become a niche area of practice.[3]  Continued Legal Education panels[4] and boutique firms[5] have recently appeared across the country specializing in alcoholic beverage law.  With this apparent need for beer and wine attorneys and legislative advancement, one may think that more law schools would make developments to help facilitate this need.[6]

          [1].                        Nightclub King Jon Taffer Sets A High Bar, NPR (Dec. 1, 2013 5:34 PM ET), https://www.npr.org/2013/12/01/247515926/reimaging-the-american-nightclub; CPA Speakers Bureau, Jon Taffer – CBA Speakers Bureau, YouTube (Nov. 7, 2013), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0utYUr31AU.

          [2].                        Jan Conway, Total number of breweries in the United States 2012-2018, Statista (Apr. 17, 2019), https://www.statista.com/statistics/224157/total-number-of-breweries-in-the-united-states-since-1990/. According to the report, there were approximately 7,450 breweries in the U.S. in 2018. Breweries are categorized as craft, large craft, and other non-craft breweries. Craft breweries include microbreweries and brewpubs. Id. National Beer Sales & Production Data, Brewers Assoc., https://www.brewersassociation.org/statistics-and-data/national-beer-stats/ (last visited April 10, 2020); How Many Wineries Are There in the United States?, USA Wine Ratings (Mar. 9, 2018), https://usawineratings.com/en/blog/insights-1/how-many-wineries-are-there-in-the-united-states-37.htm.

          [3].                        See Wine, Beer & Spirits Law, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, https://www.pillsburylaw.com/en/services/sectors/wine-beer-and-spirits-law.html (last visited April 10, 2020); Lindsey A Zahn, Navigating the Challenges of a Regulated Industry, in Wine and Beer Law: Leading Lawyers on Navigating the Three-Tier System and Other Regulations on Alcoholic Beverages 33, 47–48 (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore 2016); Daniel Croxall, Helping Craft Beer Maintain and Grow Market Shares With Private Enforcement of Tied-House and False Advertising Laws, 55 Gonz. L. Rev. 167 (2019)

          [4].                        See e.g. LexVid, CLE: Brewery & Distillery Law Series Part 1, YouTube (Jan. 13, 2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kT9uBIvbyA&t=3680s; Alcohol 101: Alcohol Beverage and Distribution Law, Lawline (May 5, 2015), https://www.lawline.com/course/food-beverage-agriculture-part-7-alcohol-101; Homebrewing & Craft Beer Laws, Lawline (May 7, 2019), https://www.lawline.com/course/homebrewing-craft-beer-laws; Shaping American Alcohol Law: Cowboy Saloons, Al Capone and the Rise of Craft Beer, Lawline (May 18, 2016), https://www.lawline.com/course/shaping-american-alcohol-law-cowboy-saloons-al-capone-and-the-rise-of-craft-beer.

          [5].                        See e.g. The Craft Beer Attorney, https://craftbeerattorney.com/ (last visited April 10, 2020); Bristow Beverage Law, https://www.bristowbeveragelaw.com/ (last visited April 10, 2020).

          [6].                        See LexVid, supra note 4; Zahn, supra note 3, at 34, 40–48; see also Clare Abel, Staying in Compliance with the Wine, Beer, and Liquor Industry’s Three-Tier System, in Wine and Beer Law: Leading Lawyers on Navigating the Three-Tier System and Other Regulations on Alcoholic Beverages 7, 11–15 (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore 2016); James M. Seff & Carrie L. Bonnington, A General Introduction to Alcohol Beverage Laws and Regulations, in Wine and Beer Law: Leading Lawyers on Navigating the Three-Tier System and Other Regulations on Alcoholic Beverages 81, 89–94 (Thompson Reuters/Aspatore 2016).