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So far Sean O'Leary has created 122 blog entries.

MillerCoors Craft Portfolio: Will its Field of Dreams come true or will it need to find a home run from somehwere else

By |2020-04-13T21:11:03+00:00September 5th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|


The sad news came out the other day that my hometown company MillerCoors plans to cut 350 salaries positions as part of a restructuring. Although many other brewers made cuts in the past, MillerCoors restructuring worries me, because it faces uncertainty.

In an article in the Chicago Tribune MillerCoors indicated that it discontinued after less […]

TTB Trade Practice Violations Investigations: They are coming hard so you need to be prepared

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00August 29th, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|

TTB Investigation background

The TTB’s (Federal Tax and Trade Bureau) investigations into trade practice violations became a major news story when it was announced that it entered into joint investigations with the Florida and Illinois liquor enforcement agencies. The importance of these issues became very newsworthy when Warsteiner entered into a $900,000 Offer-in-Compromise […]


By |2020-04-13T21:10:48+00:00August 22nd, 2018|Liquor Industry Insights|


Because Illinois is a dual licensing state, obtaining a retail liquor license is a multi-step process. The first step to success is obtaining a local liquor license, if you do not obtain the local license, the state license is impossible to get. In order to get the local liquor license, you may need to go […]

Part II of the Tanford & WSWA discussion on the three-tier system- WSWA comes to the dance floor

By |2020-04-13T21:10:21+00:00August 12th, 2018|Irish Liquor Lawyer Interviews, Liquor Industry Insights|


The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) is the national trade association representing the wholesale tier of the wine and spirits industry. It is dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of wholesale distributors and brokers of wine and spirits.

Founded in 1943, WSWA has nearly 400 member companies in 50 states […]

They won’t be coming to the dance together: Alex Tanford and The Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America give their strong and opposing views on the three-tier system

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00August 9th, 2018|Irish Liquor Lawyer Interviews, Liquor Industry Insights| this week tackles the issues surrounding the three-tier system. Many people have differing opinions about this matter. To some the three-tier system is a necessary system that helps the state regulate a dangerous and controlled substance. Without the three-tier system the alcohol industry would turn into chaos. Further, its proponents will state that […]

The Black sheep leads the herd: The Story of KOVAL, Chicago’s Top-Class Craft Distillery

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00July 9th, 2018|Irish Liquor Lawyer Interviews, Liquor Industry Insights|

KOVAL Distillery


From living a life you love to an unknown adventure

Sonat Birnecker realized the dream of any successful academic, she was tenured, taught in American and Europe and was well published. Further, she was in a career she loved!

On the personal side life was […]

Lebamoff Takes On The State Of Illinois

By |2020-04-13T21:11:03+00:00July 1st, 2018|Liquor Case Discussion|

This summary does not reflect my personal viewpoint but merely predicts what I think will occur based on the oral argument before the 7th Circuit.



The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will not let stand the District Court’s ruling granting summary judgment in favor of Illinois. Ironically, if they remand the case, the original judge retired, […]

NCSLA 2018, Hawaii: Part II, Aloha from Elvis and I

By |2020-04-13T21:11:04+00:00June 24th, 2018|Conference Reviews|

This includes my commentary on the rest of the conference. Enjoy the Elvis music while reading, compliments of me 🙂


Valerie Haber of Gray Robinson did an excellent job of reviewing some of the most important cases. The people of this fine firm always deliver top quality and Valerie Haber follows the norm.

Direct […]


By |2020-04-13T21:11:04+00:00June 21st, 2018|Conference Reviews|


Aloha and Greetings from Hawaii where the NCSLA put on a great conference. Kudos to our Hawaiian host, and special recognition to a couple of others, President Keith Burt, and the always wonderful Pam Frantz.

This post is a run down of some important matters discussed and […]

The Story of Elmhurst Brewing Company: It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Want to Rock n Roll

By |2020-04-13T20:45:24+00:00June 13th, 2018|Irish Liquor Lawyer Interviews, Liquor Industry Insights|

AC/DC’s song “It’s a Long Way to the Top” tells about the obstacles and setbacks one must overcome to enjoy success in Rock n Roll. After sitting down with Pete Dolan of the Elmhurst Brewing Company, I discovered that there are similarities in starting a Brew Pub.

The […]

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