California Craft Brewers Submit Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Addressing Arbitrary and Discriminatory Treatment of Beer Manufacturers in California’s Reopening Process

The California Craft Brewers Association’s lawsuit alleges ongoing discrimination in the reopening guidelines released by the California Department of Public Health and requests an equitable pathway to reopen craft breweries

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (March 3, 2021) — The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) announced the filing of a Motion for Preliminary Injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as the industry continues to fight for equal protection and equitable reopening guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

While wine and beer manufacturers and their customers were initially treated equally in the CDPH’s reopening guidelines for the alcohol manufacturing industry, the equal treatment did not last long. Today’s reopening guidelines unconstitutionally discriminate against California beer manufacturers and their customers by forcing beer manufacturers to adhere to a “meal requirement” that does not apply to identically situated wine manufacturers (including those operating out of the exact same building as beer manufacturers).

Wine and beer manufacturers are two of the largest industries in California, with approximately 4,000 wineries and 1,000 breweries operating across California.  Both wine and beer manufacturers are located in every region in California – sometimes operating out of the exact same building and serving their product to customers in the exact same seating area.

“Craft beer manufacturers have suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm if this meal requirement is not lifted,” said CCBA executive director, Lori Ajax. “California businesses are fighting to survive, and this requirement has contributed to beer manufacturers going out of business across the state and delayed others from being able to open their doors. In addition, the California beer consumer is being unfairly penalized by having to purchase a meal in order to consume a beer on location.”


The California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) is a 501(c)6 nonprofit trade association representing the craft and specialty brewing industry in California. Formed in 1989, the CCBA is the oldest state trade association representing craft breweries. The craft brewing industry collectively provided $9.01 billion in annual economic impact based on 2018 data and supported nearly 62,000 jobs to urban and rural communities across California.  More information about the CA craft brewing industry can be found at

For legal inquiries please contact Mortenson Taggart LLP at 949-774-2261.

For media inquiries please contact CCBA at or 916-228-4260.