DETROIT

New legal trade group will represent breweries, wineries

A legal trade group has been formed for the makers of craft beer and other alcoholic beverages, recognizing the rapid rise of the industry and a desire to deal with a thick brew of regulations across the U.S.

The Craft Beverage Lawyers Guild launched this week to represent mainly small, independent breweries, but also wineries and distilleries. The guild’s governing committee consists of about a dozen lawyers specializing in the craft beverage industry, including attorneys working directly for some of the nation’s biggest brewpubs and microbreweries.

Industry officials say there are roughly 4,200 U.S. breweries operating today – an all-time high that surpasses even pre-Prohibition levels.