Just weeks after another round of layoffs at the Brewers Association, today the trade group announced the hiring of Marc Sorini, J.D., as its first-ever in-house General Counsel. His hire will bring his skill set to assist state guilds and its ongoing state alcohol regulations.
Nearly two weeks ago, the Brewers Association (BA) cut nearly 17% of its workforce including three notable positions that will have impacts at the local level. The BA cut ties with Julia Herz (Craft Beer Program Director), Acacia Coast (State Guilds Manager), and Gary Glass (Director of the American Homebrewers Association) among others. Prior to this announcement in late June, the BA had cut 23% of its staff back in April.
The BA’s cash flow has taken a huge hit as many of its large revenue generating events have been cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. These revenue focused events include the 2020 Craft Brewers Conference, SAVOR, and 2020 Homebrew Con along with the forthcoming 2020 Great American Beer Festival that would have taken place this coming fall.
Even with these massive job cuts, the BA has hired what would likely be a large salaried position with the hiring of Sorini. Many of these employment costs will be diverted from the contract services that the BA has ongoing with his former firm and therefore these costs will be negligible.
Prior to beginning his new role at the BA on July 1st, Sorini served as a counsel for small and independent craft brewers for over two decades, most recently as a partner with McDermott Will & Emery law firm. This firm represented the BA and its predecessor organization, the Brewers Association of America (BAA). He will continue to be base and live in the Washington D.C. metro area.
Sorini’s accolades include ‘Go-To Thought Leader’ by The National Law Review, ‘Lawyer of the Year’ for food and beverage law by The Best Lawyers in America, and ‘MVP of the Year’ by Law360, among many others.
“Having represented the Brewers Association as outside counsel since its formation, and the BAA before that, joining the BA in-house feels like coming home to the independent brewers that first inspired me to dedicate my legal career to alcohol beverage industry issues,” said Sorini, in a press release. “I look forward to working with the BA to help small and independent craft brewers survive and thrive in a marketplace substantially altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, wholesaler consolidation, and the globalization of the beer industry.”
Throughout his career, Sorini has helped establish small brewers’ presence in Washington, D.C., provided strategic legal and industry relations advice to the Brewers Association’s federal legislative programs, counseled on the antitrust aspects of launching the Independent Craft Brewer Seal, and has successfully educated the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on behalf of independent craft brewers through petitions and rulemaking procedures.
“Marc has been an integral part of the Brewers Association since the very beginning. He has played a pivotal role in our work in D.C., and has been a tireless and outspoken advocate for small brewer access to market rights, from franchise law modernization and self-distribution to ensuring that brewers are able to sell at retail from their brewery premises,” said Bob Pease, president and CEO, Brewers Association, in a press release. “We’re pleased to welcome him in-house at such a crucial moment in time, as we continue to advance our efforts for small and independent American craft brewers.”
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.