Who We Are
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Our Attorneys

Shauna Barnes Founder

Shauna Barnes

Founding Partner

SBarnes@DrinksLaw.com         
(443) 218-3989
LinkedIn

Shauna founded Barnes Beverage Group to advise alcohol beverage companies of all sizes and at all stages. She and her team have over 50 years of experience in the industry. She has stocked her firm with in-house legal and compliance professionals because she knows traditional law firm incentives don’t align with how companies approach business decisions. Shauna’s goal is to have her team be efficient and focused on risk in every engagement with clients. Their clients include nano, micro, and craft breweries, distillers, wineries, importers and brand owners, as well as established publicly traded companies, who are making all types of alcoholic and non-alcoholic products, including beer, wine, spirits, and beyond-beer.

Shauna has over a decade of experience giving legal advice to beverage companies, most of which was spent as General Counsel for Dogfish Head.  She has extensive experience counseling executive and management teams on legal, compliance and regulatory risks surrounding day-to-day operations, strategic planning, international expansion, product rollouts, and major promotions and marketing campaigns. In addition to her strengths as a true general counsel, Shauna marries legal and strategic advice to help her clients, big and small, navigate the life cycle of distribution relationships. She’s negotiated hundreds of distribution agreements with the end in mind, successfully rehabilitated dozens of distributor relationships, and successfully advised clients through exiting the relationship – whether the reason was good cause or an M&A event.

Executive teams also benefit from Shauna’s experience providing creative solutions to tricky regulatory schemes, including shepherding legislative changes through the statehouse. She has considerable expertise drafting and negotiating commercial agreements, including distribution and supply agreements, project and purchase agreements, and sponsorship and events agreements. She has also worked with lobbyists and trade associations on a continuous basis since 2012 and has drafted several pieces of legislation that became law.

Shauna’s first job out of law school was at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, D.C., providing antitrust and alc-bev counsel until she joined Dogfish. While at Dogfish, Shauna started the legal department and helped launch a distillery, launch dozens of states, and expand the brewery and distillery’s capacity. She also negotiated hundreds of distribution agreements and navigated over a dozen strategic distribution partnership changes without one ending in litigation or arbitration.

She was most recently a principal at Kaleo Legal, where she spent three years building her current team before launching Barnes Beverage Group (www.DrinksLaw.com).

Shauna graduated cum laude from Wake Forest University School of Law and was a graduate with distinction from the Pennsylvania State University. She serves on the Law Board of Visitors for the Wake Forest University School of Law and is a member of several alcohol beverage industry associations, including Women of the Vine & Spirits, the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators, the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, and the Brewer’s Association She regularly volunteers her time to the Delaware Brewer’s Guild, assisting the members with alcohol-related challenges and legislative efforts.

Alix Dyke Barnes Beverage Group Attorney

Alix Dyke

Senior Partner

ADyke@DrinksLaw.com
(503) 420-3806
LinkedIn

Alix has served as in-house and external general counsel to the alcohol industry for over a decade. She focuses her practice on business transactions and intellectual property matters, regularly guiding clients through commercial contracts of all types, whether it’s for production and packaging, warehousing, distribution, marketing, sponsorships, influencers, or service providers. Alix is also Barnes Beverage’s go-to attorney for clients developing and protecting an intellectual property portfolio, including trademark selection, clearance, prosecution, licensing, and enforcement.

One of Alix’s strengths is her ability to understand, navigate and manage the unique challenges facing alc-bev companies because she’s been there herself as a member of the Craft Brew Alliance legal team.

Before joining CBA, Alix was a partner at Miller Nash, advising wine and beer producers as outside counsel.

Barnes logo waiting for photo from employee

Christopher Messina

Senior Partner

Chris, or Messina as he is known to friends and colleagues, has been working in the beverage alcohol industry for over a decade. Messina most recently served as General Counsel for the hard sparking tea and wine-based cocktail start-up Loverboy, Inc., but has also served as General Counsel for The Brooklyn Brewery Corporation and as Assistant General Counsel for Constellation Brands. Given such broad exposure while leading legal strategy throughout his career, Messina regularly advises breweries, wineries, distilleries, and brand owners of all sizes on how to navigate all issues big and small, including federal and state licensing for the manufacture and production, importation, distribution, storage, and sales of beer, wine, spirits, and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; developing distribution, sales, and expansion strategies, including the negotiation and drafting of agreements for distribution, alternating proprietorship and contract production, sponsorship and brand/IP licensing, and various other commercial contract matters.  He also has deep experience in new product development, formulation, and labeling for TTB and FDA-regulated products; supporting M&A due diligence around acquisition, strategic investment, and divestiture; trade practice compliance; and intellectual property clearance, registration, and maintenance, including managing, protecting, and enforcing domestic and international trademark rights and negotiating disputes and infringement matters.

Prior to working in the alcohol industry, Messina spent several years working in consumer finance litigation, both in-house and as an Associate Attorney with a law firm. When away from the office, Messina enjoys endurance training, having completed Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City in 2021, Ironman Lake Placid, and the NYC Marathon in 2022, and is currently training for Ironman Lake Placid 2024.  Messina is a terrible golfer and a decent guitarist and also enjoys live music, camping, hiking (aspiring ADK 46er), and spending time with friends and family.

Mike O'Gorman Barnes Beverage Group Attorney

Mike O'Gorman

Partner

Mike brings special value to clients who are launching new products, particularly those falling outside traditional commodity definitions, as Mike has significant experience advising client teams in innovation and new product development. The passion for alcohol beverage innovation, from both consumer and legal perspectives, drives Mike to find creative solutions for his clients. He also advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, establishing contract brewing and alternating proprietorships, compliance with various regulatory schemes, federal and state licensing, and excise tax compliance.

Mike began his career in private practice before serving as Regulatory Counsel for Craft Brew Alliance, where he served as primary legal counsel to the company’s New Products Development team and innovation business unit, the pH Experiment.

Chris Thomas Attorney

Chris Thomas

Senior Counsel

Chris focuses his practice on knotty regulatory and compliance for BBG’s diverse group of alcohol beverage clients. He advises clients at all phases, across all products: breweries, distilleries, wineries, retailers, brand owners, with an emphasis on the licensing in federal, state, and local jurisdictions. Chris has created and implemented bespoke regulatory and compliance plans from start-ups to some of the largest alcohol companies. Clients have found success using Chris’ expertise on go-to market plans, complex trade practice issues, environmental considerations, brand innovations, nationwide rollouts, 50-state research surveys, and advertising/marketing inquiries.

When Chris isn’t going toe-to-toe with his favorite regulators, he can be found appreciating what life has to offer by traveling, enjoying time with his family, experimenting with his favorite pans in his kitchen, running/biking around town, or hand-delivering a scorching guitar solo on stage with his vintage Fender American Fat Stratocaster Texas Special.

Shana Metzger Barnes Beverage Group Attorney

Shana Metzger

Senior Counsel

Shana joined BBG in January 2023 after a diverse legal career, including a supervisory role at the Department of Education and owning her own law firm. Her experience advising clients as external counsel runs the gamut from intellectual property, labor and employment, business and civil litigation, mergers & acquisitions, trial preparation, contract review and drafting, software licensing, and government procurement.

Shana also managed the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks, a team in the futures collegiate baseball league, driving real change in the organization from a six-figure deficit to a surplus in only two seasons. While there, she perfected her skills of project and team management – she knows what it’s like to run and manage a budget.