The Blurred Lines in Wine, Beer, and Spirits Panel at the Slainte, Liquor Industry Symposium, can be considered the best panel of the year.

Liquor is changing and the status quo is gone. As change is exciting, it also leaves behind gray areas, areas of opportunities, and great debates and fights in the liquor world.

The panel consists of Matt Dornauer, Chief Legal Officer, Heineken USA, Maggie Lu, Deputy General Counsel and V.P. at Diageo, Melanie Full, Associate General Counsel at E.J. Gallo Winery, Paul Pisano, General Counsel of the National Beer Wholesalers of America, and Richard Blau, Chair, Alcohol Beverage & Food Law Department at Gray Robinson.

The liquor world faces many issues of change and some of contention. PepsiCo is entering into the distribution business via Blue Cloud and is licensing its IP for Boston Beer Company to produce Hard Mountain Dew. To some Blue Cloud is crossing tiers, to others they are acting permissibly within the system.

Traditionally, beer, spirits, and wine companies produced their products exclusively within their industry classification, that has changed and with it, it is remaking the industry.

Finally, the evolution of the spirits industry with RTDs has created new questions to consider. Traditionally, the tax on beer was the lowest and spirits the highest, this was based on the ABV percentages. But with canned cocktails maintaining an ABV on par or lower than beer, should the tax be influenced by ABV or should it stay within its traditional category?

What makes this panel unique is the excellent quality of the people on the panel. The beer industry is represented by the Chief Legal Officer of Heineken USA and the General Counsel of the National Beer Wholesalers, the spirits industry is represented by a V.P. and Deputy General Counsel of the largest spirits producer, the wine industry is represented by the Associate General Counsel of the largest winery, and the top liquor attorney in private practice, Richard Blau, is also on the panel.

Each one of these individuals has shaped the industry and most importantly will shape it going forward. When these great influencers speak, you don’t want to miss what they have to say.

If you want to be ahead of the curb on an everchanging liquor world, this panel is a must!