The Top Fifty Craft Breweries of 2016

The Brewers Association released its annual lists of breweries – two lists: Craft breweries and overall breweries. The lists can be found here:  Top Fifty

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Five wage & hour principles most likely to land you in hot water

Wine ServerEmployment laws are so wide-ranging and detail-specific that businesses often ignore the simplest but most sacrosanct rules.  For a broader and detailed understanding, a good place to start is at the website of the Labor Commissioner – Dept. of Industrial Relations.  However, allegations of failure to comply with the following five fundamental principles account for a huge number of the claims I defend:  Continue reading

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Brewery & Distillery Law Powerpoint

These slides are from a Powerpoint presentation I gave on two topics (regulations and contracts) at an NBI conference on brewery and distillery law.  Without the oral presentation, these slides are useful more for the purpose of spotting issues.  If you have questions, please feel free to follow up with me and, time allowing, I’ll try to answer your questions.

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Starting a Craft Brewery- Part 4 – business structure and distribution

English Brew PubPart 1 of this series discussed state licensing for establishing a brewery.  Part 2 discussed municipal and county regulations for a new brewery.  Part 3 discussed the process to receive federal permits, labeling requirements, and brewer’s bonds.  Part 4 will discuss selecting a brewery’s business entity and distribution methodology. Continue reading

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Protecting your recipe with trade secret law



Alex Wellerstein, “SECRET” stamp, via Flickr Creative Commons CC 2.0

Some breweries take a wide variety of measures to ensure that their recipes do not fall into the competition’s hands.  These measures can serve as more than a tool to prevent emulation by the competition.  They can document the recipe as intellectual property, which can provide additional protections if the recipe does somehow land in the competition’s hands.  This article will describe the requirements for a recipe to be a trade secret, effective tools to meeting the requirements, and the potential benefit of holding a trade secret. Continue reading

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Starting a Craft Brewery- The Regulatory Process- Part 3


Brewery Tour, photo by Dustin Askins via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1 of this series discussed state licensing for establishing a brewery.  Part 2 discussed municipal and county regulations for a new brewery.  Part 3 will discuss the process to receive a federal permit, labeling requirements, and brewer’s bonds. Continue reading

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How to Truly Own a Signature Drink – beverage recipe trademarks and patents

Trademark and patent laws can help the inventor of a signature drink control its fate, use the drink to promote their business, or perhaps even allow the inventor to earn some profit from his or her creation.

At first blush, the process to get your signature drink protected by federal trademark or patent law can appear too daunting to be worth pursuing.  With the help of a capable attorney, gaining ownership of a signature drink can become relatively easy. Continue reading

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