The Legal Side of Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries

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Contact The Alcohol Industry Advisors

Specific regulations govern the alcohol beverage industry in the United States. Our firm is well-versed in these regulations, allowing us to simplify the legal steps of opening or expanding a beverage manufacturing business. Allow us to save you the time and frustration of dealing with complex bureaucratic paperwork and rules. Contact us today for a consultation.


Offering legal advice and licensing services to alcoholic-beverage companies.


Manufacturer Permitting

You need a permit from the TTB to manufacture wine, beer, or spirits in the United States. Our attorneys can help you get the brewery permits you need from the federal government. We can guide you in gathering the necessary docs and setting up your facility. Then, we can file your application and work with the TTB officer assigned to your application throughout the review process to maximize your chance of receiving your permit.




Labels on wine, beer, and spirits sold in the United States require a Certificate of Label Approval, or “COLA,” from the TTB. Getting a COLA requires you to comply with extensive government rules. If you make specialty products, you might also need to have your formula approved by the TTB. We work with you and your label designer to make sure you meet federal regulations without compromising creativity.




Trademarks are among the most valuable pieces of property that a beverage manufacturer owns. They can be sold and licensed out for serious money. Trademark disputes are also by far the most common legal problem that arises for beverage manufacturers in an increasingly crowded market. Contact us as early as possible so we can guide you in selecting a defensible brand name and logo.


Wholesaler and Importers

Wholesaler and Importers

To resell or import wine, beer, or spirits in the United States, you must obtain a wholesaler’s basic permit or an importer’s permit from the TTB. We can help you gather the records you need, then file these applications on your behalf and help see them through to approval. After you are up and running, we assist in keeping you compliant with the law, too.



Our lawyers have extensive experience working with the federal government to obtain permits for the alcoholic beverage industry. We’ve drafted numerous complex permit applications for manufacturers all over the country and worked directly with TTB officers to ensure that our clients avoid the costly delays that would otherwise delay their anticipated opening dates.

We’ve used our expertise to develop a simple client-intake process to make gathering your application materials as simple as possible. Our attorneys and staff will work directly with you, answer questions, and help you assemble the information and documentation necessary to apply for your TTB permit. Once the application materials are complete, we’ll take the laboring oar in writing and filing the application on your behalf.

Our seasoned intellectual property lawyers know how to identify brand names, logos, and other trademarks that you can protect in an ever more competitive marketplace. After guiding you through the process of creating or expanding your brand identity, we can custom tailor an IP portfolio plan for you, including obtaining federal and international trademark registrations.

We understand that new businesses often have serious financial constraints. We work with you to develop a package that covers your needs within your budget. Many of our services are also offered at a flat fee to ensure predictability.

Legal Services


Jaren Wieland


Jaren Wieland has represented numerous manufacturers all over the United States. She specializes in obtaining federal permits for companies in the alcoholic beverage industry as well as label and formula approvals.

Steve Wieland


At Mooney Wieland, Steve assists clients in building and protecting their businesses, and defending their brands, ideas, and trademarks.

Daniel E. Mooney


Daniel is a commercial litigator focused on resolving clients’ disputes efficiently and favorably, both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Aaron L. Warren


Aaron is the Territory Manager for Mooney Wieland’s Pago Pago office. Aaron’s legal experience began with three years as an associate at two of the most prominent commercial general practice law firms in Michigan, Kerr Russell and Weber PLC, where he also clerked during law school, and Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C.

W. Gustin Vandiford


Based in American Samoa, Gustin is a civil litigator with experience representing both corporate and municipal clients in a wide variety of areas, including tort, employment, and contract disputes

Carl J. Withroe


Based in Mooney Wieland’s Boise office, Carl practices extensively in the areas of appellate and constitutional litigation, administrative and regulatory law, and general commercial law.


You must have a federal permit issued by the TTB to commercially manufacture wine, beer, or liquor.

  • 1) Your criminal history. For example, you cannot have been convicted of a felony within the previous 5 years or a misdemeanor relating to alcohol within the previous 3 years.
  • 2) You must show the TTB that you will be able to commence operations within a reasonable amount of time and maintain your operations in conformity with federal law.
  • 3) You must show the TTB that your proposed operations do not violate the law, including that they comply with rules on recording and paying excise taxes.

To evaluate these questions, the TTB requires you to submit documentation about your history, your business, and your planned operations with your application. Your application package will include, for example, the lease of your building, financial records, and corporate documents.

federal liquor, beer, wine permit


Before you can manufacture or sell alcoholic beverages in the United States, they must be packaged and labeled in compliance with regulations enforced by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (the TTB). Then, you must get a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) for the label. For some kinds of beverages, the TTB must also approve the formula you use to manufacture the product itself. Although many of these regulations are for health and safety concerns, the TTB’s primary purpose is taxation. This means that some regulations are complex and counter-intuitive.

We work directly with you and your label designers to make sure the product you’re formulating is the right fit for your label and that your label is the right fit for your product. Then, we will apply for the COLA and, if necessary, formula approval, and work with TTB officials if there are any objections or irregularities with your project.

beer, wine, liquor label approvals


A trademark is any device, such as a logo, name, or slogan, that differentiates your brand from competitors. Virtually every can, bottle, keg, or other container of alcoholic beverages sold to consumers have trademarks on their labels. Trademarks also appear on signage, barrels, tap handles, websites, and anywhere else your customers might encounter your products.

Because trademarks are irreplaceable, they are among the most valuable things that manufacturers own. And given how crowded the beverage industry has become, it is easier than ever to accidentally infringe on another manufacturer’s trademarks. To ensure that your trademark can be used without interference from competitors, it is important to:

  • 1) Conduct a trademark clearance before using it in the marketplace. Clearing a trademark is a process in which an attorney searches for preexisting trademarks to evaluate whether your trademark might infringe someone else’s.
  • 2) Register your trademarks with the Federal government. Registration provides instant, nationwide protection for your trademark. It also makes your brand much more appealing to people who may want to buy your business someday.
beer, wine, liquor trademarks


It all starts with a consultation. Contact us today to set an appointment with a qualified attorney.

Phone Number:

p: 208-401-9219
f: 208-401-9218

Business Hours:

Mon-Fri: 9AM-5PM MT