Brewery Law

Owners of bars or restaurants in Milwaukee and other nearby cities in Wisconsin must follow various regulations, including specific laws related to selling and serving alcohol. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) oversees the issuance and regulation of liquor licenses. Losing a liquor license can be devastating for any establishment, and it is crucial to understand the potential reasons for disciplinary action. An attorney with experience in business and restaurant licensing can help defend against the
Continue Reading When Could a Bar or Restaurant Lose its Liquor License?

Many bar and restaurant owners are aware of the need to enter into licensing agreements for the music they play over the speakers in their establishments. But with shrinking profit margins due in part to rising food and labor costs, music licenses often get put on the back burner, which could create problems down the road. If an establishment inadvertently lets a license lapse, the establishment could end up facing a lawsuit—the last thing any bar or restaurant owner
Continue Reading When It’s Time to Pay the Piper: Music Licenses and Copyright Infringement

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’re aware that Wis. Stat. 125 – Alcohol Beverages recently got a major overhaul. The updated statute, effective as of May 1, 2024, brings significant changes, especially in the area of contract manufacturing for beer, wine, and spirits. We’ve already covered Alternating Proprietorships and Recipe Production (aka Recipe Brewer). Today, we’ll explore the third type: Licensing Agreements.

Quick note: while licensing agreements are available to all industry members, this post focuses
Continue Reading Licensing Agreements Ltd.

The renewal deadline for municipal liquor licenses is coming up soon and because of the coming changes to Wis. Stat. Ch. 125 (2 weeks away!) we’ve gotten a lot of questions about what wineries are supposed to do this year with their license renewals – renew, or not renew?

Our suggestion is not to renew. Once the changes to Wis. Stat. Ch. 125 go into effect on May 1st, wineries will have to (eventually) relinquish their municipal licenses, so
Continue Reading Wineries to Relinquish Their Class B Licenses

As a firm of trademark and alcohol attorneys, it’s always a thrill when those two topics collide, especially on a major stage. We had one of those great moments of serendipity last week.

The story begins with Diageo, the company that owns Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, a brand of whiskey that might be familiar to our whiskey-drinking readers. In 2017, Diageo sued W.J. Deutsch & Sons, the owner of the Redemption Whiskey brand. The suit centered around allegations of trademark
Continue Reading Bottles Up

In follow up to my previous post about the forthcoming (new and improved) Wis. Stat. Ch. 125, I wanted to write a quick post about changes and enhancements to the ability for alcohol producers (breweries, wineries and distilleries) to contract manufacture in Wisconsin.

Historically, only breweries were able to contract manufacture for other breweries in Wisconsin. In practice, this meant that a brewery with excess capacity could contract with another brewery in need of product, and produce it
Continue Reading Cheers to Change: The New Wis. Stat. 125 – Contract Manufacturing

The landscape of Wisconsin’s alcoholic beverage regulations has recently undergone substantial changes with the revision of Wis. Stat. chapter 125. In this post we will be discussing one of the most substantial changes, specifically, the ability of breweries, wineries, and distilleries to offer beer, wine, and spirits (“full service retail” under the new statute) at their taproom/tasting room locations, subject to certain requirements (of course!). Read on for more information.

Historical Context:

Under the previous version of Wis. Stat.
Continue Reading Cheers to Change: The New Wis. Stat. Chapter 125 – Full Service Retail

Recently, in June 2023, the Wisconsin Assembly passed Assembly Bill 304 (the bill is numbered SB 332 in the Wisconsin Senate). That bill makes several significant changes to how the state regulates its storied and substantial alcohol industry. The proposed law affects nearly every level of the Wisconsin alcohol industry from the licensing, producing, selling, and distribution of alcoholic beverages. For instance, bartenders will now have to be licensed by the state instead of by their local municipality.

Continue Reading Wisconsin’s Proposed Alcohol Regulations: Major Reforms Impacting the Industry

One of the most critical steps in applying for your Brewers Notice with the TTB is putting together a diagram that shows your brewing operation and will be (happily) accepted by the TTB Agent assigned to review of your materials. Following, is a short list of the critical elements you need to include in the diagram:

  • Every Floor Needs to be Shown – If you are operating your brewery on more than one floor of the building, you need

  • Continue Reading Brewery Law: A Diagram for Success