Ohio Beer Counsel
Information and Commentary on the Issues Facing Ohio's Craft Beer Community, Breweries and Distilleries - Brewed by the Craft Beer Lawyers of Bruns, Connell, Vollmar & Armstrong's Brewery & Distillery Practice Group

Legal Services

 

Corporate Formation

At the core of any business, large or small, is a solid corporate foundation setting forth how the business and its shareholders/owners will operate.  All businesses have different goals and needs, meaning there is no one business form that works in all scenarios.  After discussing the specifics of your brewery or distillery and your vision for the future, we will assist in choosing the best form of entity to suit your needs and then file all documents required to create your entity.

Regulatory Compliance

It is no secret craft breweries and distilleries are highly regulated.  In fact, craft breweries (and to some extent distilleries) are unique in that many operate as four distinct businesses under one roof: manufacturer, distributor, tap room and restaurant.  Our brewery and distillery lawyers have years of experience representing large and small businesses in each of these industries and are well-equipped to advise and counsel you on regulations.  

OSHA / Safety

OSHA is a complex federal agency with considerable power and authority over business and industry, including breweries and distilleries.  An unfavorable OSHA inspection can cost an employer significant amounts of money, lost productivity and abatement expenses. We have the experience advising and representing employers at all stages of an OSHA encounter: safety training, helping prepare for OSHA inspections, and assisting with assembly of an inspection response team.

Trademarks

The lifeblood of any brewery and distillery is the products you produce and the brand you promote.   We advise clients with respect to branding issues and provide strategic guidance on trademark issues.  This often involves registering and obtaining trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  We help you identify and develop best practices designed to put you in the best legal position to defend and protect your products and brand from improper use by others.

Employment

Employees can be your greatest asset, but if not provided adequate training and a good working environment, they can quickly become your worst enemy.  Proper planning is essential.  Our craft beer attorneys work with you to develop sound employment practices and procedures and craft employee handbooks and materials tailored for you.  We provide employee training materials, and if needed, non-compete and confidentiality agreements.

Workers' Compensation

Whether you have two employees or fifteen, Ohio law requires that all employers register for workers' compensation coverage.  We are knowledgeable in the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's ("BWC") various discount programs available to new businesses and will help navigate the often confusing BWC system.  We work with existing breweries to prevent injuries from occurring and defend claims through the administrative process into courts in Ohio and Kentucky.

Federal and State Permitting

Permitting from the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ("TTB") and Ohio's Division of Liquor control is needed before brewing or distilling operation can occur.  The process is long, overwhelming and sometimes prevents a good idea from moving forward. Our brewery and distillery attorneys assist craft breweries and distilleries in navigating and understanding the complexities of permitting, and help prepare the information necessary for permits.

General Counsel Services

We are equipped to evaluate your craft brewery and distillery practices and procedures to help identify legal risk which may result in future liability.  We provide you access to trusted legal advisors as often as your business needs require, as well as the same proactive in-house legal tools available to larger companies.  We strive to do this in an affordable manner, custom tailored to meet your individual needs and protect your budget and bottom line.

Litigation

Our law firm was founded in litigation and we are no strangers to the courtroom.  Our brewery and distillery lawyers are licensed in state and Federal courts in Ohio and Kentucky and are ready to prosecute or defend your interests in court or before administrative agencies.  No case is too small or too large and we have successfully tried cases in state and Federal courts from basic premises liability to complex business litigation.  We will advocate for you.