Theodore J. Zeller III, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Chair of its Liquor Law Practice Group, and General Counsel to the Brewers of Pennsylvania (BOP), and Matthew B. Andersen, an Associate of the firm, will present “Pennsylvania Liquor Law Legal Update” on Friday, September 6, 8:45 – 9:30 a.m., at the Days Inn Penn State in State College. Zeller’s presentation will include participation from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue concerning the recent changes to the Pennsylvania Tax Code affecting breweries. Andersen will address changes to the laws affecting Pennsylvania breweries, including common regulatory mistakes to avoid in the operation of their businesses.
“Pennsylvania is one of the best beer states, if not the best beer state, in the United States. It’s been my pleasure to be a part of this journey for breweries in Pennsylvania and I look forward to continuing our work, starting with providing fellow BOP members with this liquor law legal update, including the latest on the new sales tax law,” said Zeller.
The update is part of the 5th Annual Mid Atlantic Brewers’ Symposium, “The Business of Brewing. The Science of Brewing. The Network of Brewers.,” to take place September 5-7. Also included will be educational seminars, a welcome reception with industry exhibitors, a networking happy hour at Liberty Craft House, and a Penn State Tailgate for BOP Brewery and Associate Members with state legislators. Discussion topics include sales and profits, finance and accounting, branding and marketing, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, fermentation, and liquor law. For more information and to register as a BOP member, non-member licensed brewer, or homebrewer, visit the BOP website.
Zeller has extensive experience in liquor law, regulatory licensing, commercial transactions, real estate transactions, and litigation. He began his legal career as a litigator and has tried multiple cases in county and federal court, including jury trials, and hundreds of cases before arbitration panels, district justices, and administrative law judges. He was lead counsel in a beer rights case brought against the world’s largest brewers and now serves as counsel to D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc., among others.
Zeller’s lobbying efforts helped to modernize parts of the Pennsylvania liquor code. He has authored numerous provisions that have been enacted into law. The bills helped small brewers by allowing more efficient and cost-effective brand registration, as well as altered the package laws for brewery licenses. Zeller also appeared before the House Liquor Committee with the Brewers of Pennsylvania in the Privatization Hearings. Most importantly, his efforts helped change brewery regulations to allow for tap rooms. Zeller authored the Malt Beverage Tax Excise Credit legislation and has written extensively about Acts 39 and 166. As counsel to the Brewers of Pennsylvania, he worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to enact a new tax law, which imposes a fair sales and use tax on consumer sales by breweries, prior to the effective date of a new Tax Bulletin, which imposed a tax rate that was four times what was subsequently enacted and signed into law.
Zeller counsels clients on the acquisition of liquor licenses and coordinates liquor license transactions with other practice areas, such as real estate, business law, financing, tax law, intellectual property, and litigation. He has helped numerous startup breweries, wineries, distilleries, and retailers. Known throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Zeller also represents beer interests on a national level and advises breweries and wholesalers on state regulatory matters involving beer distribution and franchise laws. He regularly prepares distribution agreements for his clients and coordinates state and federal licensing for manufacturing and national distribution.
Zeller earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1989 and his J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law of The Pennsylvania State University in 1992. As a volunteer, Zeller is Chairman of the Allentown Parking Authority and youth soccer coach.
Andersen works with all tiers of the alcohol industry, advising manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. He assists breweries, distilleries, wineries, wholesalers, distributors, restaurants, and hotels on obtaining and transferring liquor licenses, obtaining state and federal manufacturing permits and licensing, complying with federal/state liquor regulations and laws, providing transactional counseling, and defending citations and protests before the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Andersen is experienced in drafting and negotiating distribution agreements between alcohol manufacturers and distributors to assist manufacturers in expanding the reach of their brands. Additionally, he has worked with nonprofit organizations and event planners on obtaining temporary alcohol permits for various events. Andersen takes pride in helping new and veteran alcohol businesses navigate the complex regulatory framework of state and federal liquor laws, as well as helping them establish and grow their brands on a state and national level.
Andersen’s liquor law and business law practices often coincide in the legal counseling of start-up businesses entering the alcohol industry. He frequently advises clients from the idea stage to the operational stage of their alcohol business and is well versed in discussing the issues that come up in between. Whether it is, among other things, entity selection, drafting operational business documents, lease review, real estate acquisitions, zoning issues, and alcohol licensing/permitting, Andersen can assist you in turning your ideas into a successful business. He takes great pleasure in assisting dreamers, no matter what age, in preparing their business for future success.
Andersen earned his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 2012 and his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 2015. As a young professional, Andersen feels it is important to give back to the community. He is an assistant lacrosse coach at Northwestern Lehigh High School and enjoys teaching the knowledge, experience, and lessons taught to him throughout his life to the young people in our community.