Firm News

Congratulations to Summit Distributing on winning the Right to Distribute Schlafly Beer

The Business Team at Capes Sokol is proud of its role in bringing two great St. Louis-grown, owned and operated companies together.

Serving over 3,000 retail customers in the greater St. Louis Metropolitan area, our client, Summit Distributing, is the second largest beer distributor and the largest import/specialty distributor in the State of Missouri.  Its bevy of delicious craft beer and cider brands includes, Blue Moon, Boulevard, Samuel Adams, Magic Hat, Lagunitas, New Belgium and now, Schlafly Beer.

In 1991, St. Louis attorney, Tom Schlafly, and brewmeister, Dan Kopman, had the audacity to open a craft brewery and restaurant in Downtown St. Louis in the shadow of the world’s largest brewer.  Now just 26 years later, Saint Louis Brewery is Missouri’s largest, locally owned brewer.

Under Missouri law, a very special relationship exists between beer brewers and their distributors.  Missouri courts apply a three pronged test to determine if a franchise relationship exists.  Once established, a franchise is not easily broken.  Therefore, prudent brewers choose their distributors very carefully.

John Meyer, Chair of Capes Sokol’s Business and Real Estate Practice Group, represented Summit Distributing with respect to the negotiation and documentation of its distributor agreement with Saint Louis Brewery.  Capes Sokol’s transactional professionals  regularly advise clients on various contract matters, acquisitions, financing and dispositions of businesses and assets, including, real estate.

Tom Stillman, Summit Distributing’s chief executive officer, had this to say:

“John Meyer and his team did outstanding work guiding this transaction to a successful conclusion.  We are proud of our association with John and the Capes Sokol firm.”

We are gratified and humbled by Tom Stillman’s kind works of appreciation for our service to this transaction and we congratulate Saint Louis Brewery and its investors, Tom Schlafly and Sage Capital, on their good judgment in signing on with Summit Distributing.  St. Louisans who enjoy quality craft beer can rest assured that every hand-crafted, lovingly bottled Schlafly beer will be delivered with pride and care.

Cheers from Capes Sokol!

About Capes Sokol

At Capes Sokol, we strive to find the best solutions to our client's legal problems and to turn even complex challenges into opportunities. That’s why each member of our St. Louis-based team is committed to looking at every issue from multiple angles. We bring teamwork and collaboration across disciplines. We take the time to listen and understand our clients' industries, problems and challenges. And then we apply deep legal knowledge, experience and creativity all leading to strategies and execution that just make sense.

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