Craft Breweries & Brew Pubs


Pak, Eugene M.

510.834.6600 T

510.808.4726 F


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. 

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.

Representative matters for breweries, restaurants and other food & beverage clients include:

  • advising a craft brewery on business entity formation, ownership, and private placement offering;
  • filing and registering trademarks for craft breweries and restaurants;
  • representing a leading craft brewery in trademark infringement litigation;
  • advising craft brewery on obtaining land use approval for a Berkeley brewpub;*
  • advising clients on Alcoholic Beverage Control and tied house regulations;
  • advising clients on wage and hour and other employment law issues;
  • advising on advertising and marketing matters (sweepstakes).

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. 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).

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


*  Work done by Wendel Rosen attorney while at prior law firm.

  • Represented leading craft brewery as plaintiff in trademark infringement action in federal district court; obtained consent permanent injunction and fees in action to enforce injunction.

  • Represented craft brewer in negotiating lease for 90,000 square foot building containing a brewery, restaurant and offices.

  • Pak, Eugene M.
  • Balderama, Karen J.
  • Dambrov, Matthew E.
  • Myers, Daniel B.
  • Noma, Christine K.
  • Tang, Jennifer P.
  • Waxman, Richard P.
Events & Seminars