Beer, Wine & Spirits Industry

Craft Brewers

Brewers meticulously work to create unique beers to satisfy a marketplace where competition can be fierce. Finding a way to set yourself apart can be the biggest resource in building a sustainable, successful business. Dinsmore routinely advises breweries, on all facets of managing their business and brand – from starting up the business, clearing brand names and enforcing your rights against external risks to complying with state and federal alcohol laws.

We understand the complexities and inner working of today’s craft beer and alcohol markets nationally and internationally and the impact it can have on business, intellectual property, regulatory or litigation strategy.


Outside General Counsel to a Growing Brand

Client: MadTree Brewing

When Kenny McNutt, Brady Duncan and Jeff Hunt had a dream to open their own craft brewery, they sought legal guidance from Dinsmore. By the time Cincinnati’s MadTree Brewing opened in 2013, our attorneys had already played a significant role in its development – from helping to raise the original capital to structuring and executing loan financing. 

“Dinsmore gives peace of mind and guides us through murky waters,” said McNutt. “They’re reputable, and I always know I get the best answer for the information available at the time.”

Today, Dinsmore serves as MadTree’s outside general counsel, advising on contracts, real estate, trademark, employment matters, securities and other legal needs as they arise.

“They have every facet we need, and they’re super easy to work with,” added McNutt.  “I recommend them whenever anyone asks. They’re trustworthy, really, really good and well worth the peace of mind.”

MadTree was the first modern craft brewery to can its beer in Ohio, and, within four short years, the brewery had grown so significantly they opened an $18 million facility to accommodate larger crowds and increased demand for production. Dinsmore attorneys were with them every step of the way.

Represented Client Purchasing a West Coast Beer, Wine and Spirits Distributor

We represented the purchaser during its formation of an investment vehicle and subsequent $38 million acquisition of an West Coast-based beer, wine and spirits distributor. We aided our client by negotiating and drafting the asset purchase agreement and ancillary transaction documents, negotiating consents and releases with multiple suppliers, and drafting and negotiating purchaser entity formational documents. We also coordinated due diligence efforts on behalf of our client.

Represented Our Client, a Brewing Company, During an Appeal to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals

Our client, a brewing company, received an A-1 liquor permit in December 2010 that entitled them to a credit against taxes levied on manufactured beer and malt beverages, provided the brewing company met certain requirements. The brewing company requested Ohio’s tax commissioner apply the credit to taxes paid on manufactured beer and malt beverages during 2010, but the request was denied. We represented our client when they appealed the decision to the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals.

Represented Distributor in the Divestiture of its Portfolio

We represented a beer, wine and spirits distributor in the divestiture of its distribution rights portfolio to numerous purchases.