Attesting to the increasing popularity of craft beer in the U.S., Bowditch & Dewey is pleased to be among the first in the bar to launch a practice group dedicated to serving the various needs of craft breweries.
While large breweries like Anheuser Busch and Miller Brewing Company have the largest market share, craft brewing companies are making substantial inroads. Data from the Brewers Association show that while overall beer sales were down 2 percent in 2013, sales of craft beer were up more than 17 percent. The overall market for beer in the U.S. was $100 billion in 2013. Craft beer accounted for 14.3 percent of sales, a 20 percent jump from the previous year. Finally, the data show a 23 percent increase in the number of craft breweries since 2010.
“The increasing thirst for craft beer means that breweries will need advisors to help them address their legal and business challenges,” said Robert G. Young, an attorney at Bowditch & Dewey. “We bring to bear experience in representing companies of all sizes, from Massachusetts microbreweries to national breweries with widespread name recognition, such as Anchor Brewing Company.”
While craft beer enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a tasty respite from mass-produced beer, successful craft breweries are businesses, with all of the attendant challenges. The team at Bowditch & Dewey, with its experience in areas such as labor and employment, intellectual property, and environmental matters, among others, is in a strong position to help breweries address these challenges.
“It’s exciting to start brewing in your garage and eventually see your beer on market shelves or in restaurants,” said, Charles E. Yon, a partner at Bowditch & Dewey. “As they continue to grow and add new products, facilities, and staff, however, craft breweries suddenly find themselves confronting the types of issues that many growing businesses face – employee complaints, environmental regulations, trademark questions, and the many other legal issues growing businesses have. We have advised several breweries in these areas and are continuing to find new opportunities in the industry.”
The Craft Breweries practice group at Bowditch & Dewey presents a full suite of legal services to craft breweries, ciders and industry distributors. Capabilities include corporate matters, including compliance and start-ups; employment, including counseling and advice, employee benefits and executive compensation, and defense of all employment related claims; real estate, including leasing, permitting, acquisitions and dispositions; environmental, including wastewater management; intellectual property, including licensing and trademarks; litigation; trusts and estates; business succession planning and stockholder agreements; tax; and insurance liability.
Read more about the craft breweries practice group here.