Articles by: Bahaneh Hobel

CA ABC Loosens Regulations for Alcohol Beverage Retailers and Delivery

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued a notice on March 19, 2020 temporarily loosening certain regulations during the current state of affairs.  While primarily focused on retailers, there are some potentially helpful provisions that impact alcohol beverage producers, too. A few things to keep in mind.  First, local regulations and restrictions may also […]

Additional Guidance For Wineries in Light of Recent Government Actions

Since the Governor’s announcement on Sunday recommending the temporary suspension of on-premise alcoholic beverage businesses, including winery tasting rooms, certain cities and counties have instituted “Shelter-in-Place” ordinances, and both the California ABC and the California Wine Institute have issued additional guidance on the operation of alcohol beverage licensed premises, including wineries. Given the various orders […]

TTB Allows Returns of Products Purchased for Events Cancelled due to CORONAVIRUS

Today, TTB announced that it would permit returns of alcoholic beverages that were originally purchased for events that have been canceled due to Coronavirus. As TTB stated:  “Given the unexpected and widespread nature of the concerns involving COVID-19, TTB will not consider returns of alcohol beverage products purchased to sell during such cancelled events to […]

Governor Issues Guidance / Directive on Closure of CA Bars, Clubs, Winery Tasting Rooms, On-Premise Retailers

On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that due to efforts to reduce the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, he was directing the closure of “all bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs, and the like.”  Restaurants, however, are not directed to close at this time, but are subject to reduction of occupancy and social […]

Making Sure Your Wine, Beer or Spirits Club Complies with State and Federal Law

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) recently issued a new Industry Advisory regarding subscription services. In the alcohol beverage industry, we often see subscription services in the form of automatic renewal wine clubs, beer-of-the-month clubs, and/or spirits clubs, where customers sign up to receive future shipments of a licensee’s offering of wine, beer, […]

Supreme Court Decision is a Victory for Alcohol Beverage Retailers

Alcohol beverage retailers won a significant victory before the U.S. Supreme Court this morning.  The Court held in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas that Tennessee’s two-year durational-residency requirement applicable to retail liquor store license applicants violates the Commerce Clause and is not saved by the Twenty-First Amendment.  In doing so, the Court […]

Key Takeaways from Joint Senate & Assembly Hearing on California’s Wine Industry

The California Senate Select Committee on California’s Wine Industry and Committee on Governmental Organization and the California Assembly’s Select Committee on Wine and Committee on Governmental Organization held a joint hearing in San Diego on Thursday, November 29, 2018.  Jacob Appelsmith, the Director of the California Department of Alcohol & Beverage Control (“ABC”), and other […]

U.S. Supreme Court Decision May Open the Door (Or Slam it Shut!) On Direct to Consumer Shipping by Retailers

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear the appeal in a case that could drastically change the landscape for direct to consumer wine shipments by retailers in the United States. On Thursday September 27, 2018, the Supreme Court granted the appeal in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Byrd. Specifically, the […]

Deadline Approaching for New Liquor License Applications in California

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control recently announced authorization for the issuance of new on-sale general and off-sale general licenses in various counties throughout California, as well as authorization for the inter-county transfer of on-sale general and off-sale general licenses.  Such general licenses allow the service of beer, wine and spirits for on and/or […]

TTB Extends Alternate Procedure For Excise Taxes Credits through 2019

Today TTB announced in Industry Circular 2018-1A that it is extending until December 31, 2019 the ”Alternate Procedure” under which wine producers can tax pay wine stored at bonded tax wine cellars (“BWC”) without having to physically transfer their wine back from the BWC in bond.  This update to TTB’s prior procedure is a welcome […]

Grapegrowing and FSMA Compliance

As of 2018, winegrape growers are now required to adhere to the burdensome requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule when selling winegrapes to wineries for processing.  However, most winegrape growers will qualify for an exemption from the FSMA rule (see FDA flow chart for rule and exemption applicability). For winegrape […]

DP&F’s Alcohol Beverage Partner to Speak at Spirited International Spirits Trade Tasting & Show

Bahaneh Hobel will be one of the panelists of “Next Steps: ‘Start Me Up,’” an informative discussion on how to start or grow a distilled spirits brand. The topic will be discussed at the Spirited International Spirits Trade Tastings & Show to be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, California on February 27, 2018.  This […]

Governor Signs Executive Order Granting Some Relief to Licensees Affected by Fires

Yesterday, the Governor signed an Executive Order that could provide some relief to alcohol beverage licensees whose premises were damaged or destroyed by the recent fires in Napa and Sonoma Counties. The California ABC Act typically allows alcohol beverage licensees whose premises have been destroyed as a result of fire or other causes to temporarily […]

Taking Advantage of the New Law Allowing Service of Beer and Wine by Salons & Barbershops

As of January 1, 2017, California beauty salons and barber shops in good standing with the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology are permitted to serve their customers, where local zoning permits,  no more than 12 ounces of beer or 6 ounces of wine by the glass for no charge. Many of our winery, brewery […]

Don’t Forget – Starting January 1, Eligible Licensees Can Amend TTB Permits To Eliminate Bonds

As of January 1, 2017, if you are currently licensed with TTB as a brewery, distilled spirits plant or winery and owed less than $50,000 in excise taxes in 2016, and expect to owe less than $50,000 in 2017, you will no longer be required to hold a bond.  This is great news for all […]

CEB Wine Law Forum (Nov. 3-4 in Santa Barbara)

Thursday and Friday, November 3rd and 4th Santa Barbara, California The annual CEB Wine Law Forum,™  will take place on November 3rd and 4th in Santa Barbara, California.  The Forum, sponsored by the International Wine Law Association, will address Events, Festivals & Social Media, Direct-To-Consumer Sales and Franchise Laws and the Balancing of Local Concerns […]

ABC Provides Guidance on Passport Events

On March 4, 2016, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“ABC”) published an Industry Advisory providing guidance to licensees, marketing companies and winegrower associations participating in “passport” marketing events. Most passport events have the same format – consumers purchase an identifiable event glass, wrist band, passport or punch card from a marketing company or […]

TTB Provides Guidance on Category Management Practices

On February 11th, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) issued a new ruling regarding the extent to which “category management” practices are permissible under federal tied-house laws. The “tied-house” laws promulgated under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (the “FAA Act”) generally prohibit industry members from giving “things of value” such as supplies, […]

Avoid Penalty Flags from the ABC During Super Bowl 50

In anticipation of Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7 in the Bay Area, and given the large number of both retail and supplier-side licensees that are participating at the Super Bowl, and in events and promotions in the week leading up to the game, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued an […]

New Alcohol Beverage Regulations Give Licensees Expanded Rights and Privileges in the New Year

Beginning on January 1, 2016, new provisions of the California ABC Act will go into effect that will, among other things, provide industry members with additional rights and privileges related to marketing, events and promotions, and will also create a new Craft Distiller License.   A summary of a few of these important new statutory provisions […]

« Older Entries