John D. Messinger is a Senior Attorney at Lehrman Beverage Law, PLLC. He joined the firm in 2006 as a Law Clerk and became an Associate Attorney in 2009. John’s primary role at the firm is serving as outside regulatory counsel to alcohol beverage industry members, assisting breweries, distilleries, wineries, importers/wholesalers, and brand owners with labeling, formulation, licensing, advertising, taxation, product development and other federal and state compliance matters.
During his time at Lehrman Beverage Law, John has handled the review and related compliance work for over 3,500 formulations and 10,000 labels for a wide variety of beer, wine, and distilled spirits products (both imported and domestic), and obtained more than 100 producer-level Federal Basic Permits and Brewer’s Notices for clients. John works with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”) daily, from advocating for the approval of clients’ labels, formulas, and permits, to responding to and negotiating with TTB on behalf of clients for excise tax claims and alleged violations of federal regulations.
John has assisted with due diligence and federal and state compliance matters for alcohol beverage companies acquired by other industry members or outside investment firms, including two sales worth more than $400 million. He has also advised clients on Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) regulations, provided guidance on the labeling of non-malt beer based hard seltzers and wines under 7% alcohol by volume, and advised on the GRAS (“Generally Recognized as Safe”) status of ingredients.
Aside from federal alcohol beverage compliance matters, John has assisted clients with state alcohol beverage compliance matters, including state classification and taxation of alcohol beverage products, state-level producer, distribution, and out of state shipper licensing, and responses to alleged violations of state consumer and trade practice statutes.
John has been featured as a speaker at alcohol beverage industry trade shows, where he gave presentations related to the regulation, classification, and taxation of alcohol beverages. John has also written articles for alcohol beverage industry publications and taught two continuing legal education courses covering the federal regulation of beer, wine, and distilled spirits. He is a member of the Brewer’s Association and a former member of the American Homebrewer’s Association.
John earned his J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2008 and is admitted to practice law in Virginia. He graduated from Mary Washington College in 2002.
Outside of the office, John enjoys spending time with family and friends and getting really into new hobbies that he inevitably drops within a few months or years for another new hobby. He has managed to stay interested in and involved with craft beer for more than a decade, even though he no longer brews his own.