The craft beer industry continues to expand and grow at a rapid pace as craft breweries constantly innovate, bringing interesting new beers and brands to the market. Consumers are also becoming more knowledgeable, demanding locally-brewed beers, organic ingredients, and other innovations.  New craft breweries open every week and new beers are introduced every day, and the large breweries are taking notice too.

Your Business Needs on Top

To compete in this dynamic marketplace, craft breweries not only need to brew top quality beers, but also need to be effective businesses. The attorneys at Wendel Rosen are particularly well-suited to advise craft breweries on a wide range of legal issues affecting their business. From business entity formation, to obtaining permits, to real estate leasing and land use issues,  to protecting trademarks, and employment law issues, our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to advise craft breweries on virtually all of their legal needs.

Industry Immersion

Wendel Rosen is an allied member of both the national Brewers Association and the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) and is a supporter of craft beer events. Attorneys frequently speak at industry conferences and write about issues affecting the craft brewing industry.


The firm is a certified B Corporation and was a leader in enacting legislation to establish Benefit Corporations in California, a new legal corporate status that requires companies to consider impacts on society, employees and the environment, as well as profits, and gives the companies the freedom to prioritize these at their discretion. We are also a recognized leader in the green business community. We were the first law firm in the country to be third-party certified as a green business (by the Bay Area Green Business Program in 2003).

Representative matters for craft brewers and brew pubs include:

  • Filing and registering trademarks for craft breweries and restaurants
  • Trademark infringement litigation
  • Land use approvals
  • Alcoholic Beverage Control and tied house regulations
  • Employment law issues, including wage and hour
  • Advertising and marketing matters (sweepstakes)


Business Formation and Operations
  • Business entity formation and ownership, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, stocks and shares, corporate structuring, LLCs and S Corps
  • Mergers, acquisitions and sales of businesses, real property or assets
  • Distributor and licensing agreements
  • Wholesaling and retailing issues
  • Insurance matters and coverage litigation
  • Financing
  • Regulatory compliance and registrations (licenses, recordkeeping, labeling, tied house laws)
  • Succession planning for family-owned businesses, estate planning and wealth management matters


Intellectual Property  |  Advertising
  • Filing and registering trademarks and copyrights
  • Review of advertising materials
  • Sweepstakes and contests
  • Product labeling issues
  • “Organic” and “Natural” labeling
  • Claims of false advertising


Land Use  |  Environmental Issues
  • CEQA and environmental issues
  • Permits, entitlements and licenses
  • Environmental due diligence and compliance
  • Wastewater management issues


Real Estate
  • Leases
  • Construction negotiations and contracts
  • Property acquisitions and sales
  • Construction defect litigation
  • Easements


Employment Counseling  |  Litigation
  • Employment contracts
  • Supervisor and employee training
  • Employment policies and manuals
  • Wage and hour matters
  • Defending employee administrative claims and litigation
  • Defending discrimination claims
  • I-9 compliance and ICE audits


Green Business
  • Organic labeling issues
  • Green building and design, including incentives and tax breaks
  • LEED certification
  • Environmentally sound waste disposal
  • Carbon reduction
  • Solar installations, power purchase agreements


Proposition 65 – Continuing Challenges for Food Industry

Proposition 65 – Continuing Challenges for Food Industry

01/14/2019 | Client Update

Many in the food industry are still unaware that in addition to following extensive federal labeling laws, they must also be attentive to a unique California public disclosure law known…

Full Article
Beer and Brands

Beer and Brands

10/01/2018 | Beverage Master

Craft brew and intellectual property attorney Eugene Pak recently wrote an article for Beverage Master magazine about selecting a unique name that will pass trademark muster. His article begins on…

Full Article
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