Zoning and Breweries

Zoning is one of the stickiest issues I run into when it comes to new businesses, but particularly those businesses which fall into the “industrial use” category, as breweries often do.  Not only will zoning determine whether the business is an “allowed use” in a particular location, but even if it is an allowed use, zoning regulations may also specify the extent of activities that are allowed.   Moreover, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will require a form that shows your use is allowed.   Continue reading

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Uber and Lyft drivers allowed to drink alcoholic beverages but less under new law.

Ride share drivers like Uber and Lyft were allowed by California law to drive with the same amount of alcohol in their bloodstreams as non-commercial drivers, i.e., 0.08 percent.  Under a new law that went into effect on July 1, 2018, that bloodstream tolerance limit has been reduced to 0.04%. Continue reading

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D.C.’s War Over Restaurant Tips Will Soon Go National – CityLab

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California brewery license types

There are four basic brewery licenses in California.   The descriptions of brewery license types below are straight from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).  Continue reading

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Protect yourself against website lawsuits

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) lawsuits have spread to businesses’ websites.  I call these lawsuits “grey law” litigation because they are extensions of a law into areas which were they were not really designed to go.  As a result they are grossly unfair.  Moreover, the lawsuits seem focused more on extracting monetary settlement from threat of the cost of litigation rather than whether the claims have merit; or as one court phrased it, “by dint of nuisance and threat of expense” rather than by “threat of victory.”  Continue reading

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Does Selling Growlers Leave Customers Susceptible to Open Container Violation?

Multiple Beer Growlers

Photo by Matthew Bellemare, Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

Growlers:  Branding them can make for great marketing.  Holding events around them can develop a loyal customer base.  For smaller breweries, they can be the only cost-effective way to allow your established customers to share your drink with others.  These re-fillable containers can be one of the most useful tools for breweries of all sizes.  But their prevalence forces the question, doesn’t sending customers to their vehicles with readily openable containers filled with beer open them up to open container violations? Continue reading

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Less Known Alcohol Beverage Licenses in California

Outside photo of Congressional Country Club

Congressional Country Club, photo by Keith Allison, Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) offers a wide variety of license types, required for a wide variety of purposes in California.  Ordinarily, only a few types of licenses are commonly thought of (Types 20 and 21 for off-site sales and Types 40, 41, and 47 for on-site sales).  In total, however, there are more than 80 types of licenses, each for a different purpose.  As this blog previously discussed, a license is ordinarily required if alcohol is sold (even indirectly) or it is served at an event where a member of the public can attend, a license is required.  Continue reading

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