The craft brewing, craft distilling, and winery sectors are experiencing explosive growth despite cumbersome regulation and the administrative and legal obstacles they frequently encounter. The issues that brewers, distillers, and vintners face go beyond regulatory approval of their beverages or ensuring compliance with excise tax and labeling requirements. Common legal needs arise from:
- choosing company structure;
- forming and funding the company;
- drafting an agreement and providing for addition and removal of investors/business partners;
- properly selecting brewery/beer names and protecting trademark rights;
- selecting facilities and negotiating leases or purchases;
- negotiating supply chain and distribution agreements; and
- developing employee handbook and managing HR issues.
Given that the beer, spirits, and wine industries are subject to federal, state, and local regulations unique to the alcoholic beverage industry, industry-specific legal knowledge is required to keep the products, and the profits, flowing.
The attorneys on Saul Ewing’s craft brewery/craft distillery/winery services team provide valuable knowledge and experience to our clients in this rapidly-expanding and increasingly-competitive industry. We represent companies throughout the growth cycle – whether at the start-up, expansion, or sale stage – from dealings with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”), to production of the first brew or bottle, and through the operational and distribution stages that place products into consumers’ glasses and profits in the owners’ pockets. Our industry experience is complemented by a team-based approach that leverages the diverse legal talents of lawyers across a wide range of fields of experience.
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