Alcoholic Beverage Law

The craft brewing, winery, and distilled spirits industry is thriving in North Carolina.  Growth in this industry is good for our state's economy, but can lead to a variety of potential pitfalls for those who grow too quickly or do so without legal counsel.  At Ward and Smith, P.A., our attorneys understand the federal, state, and local laws and regulations that govern your business and can help navigate clients through the permitting, statutory, and regulatory obligations.  We also understand the importance of protecting your brand and intellectual property, and the complex world of franchising and distribution in North Carolina.  The Alcoholic Beverage Law Practice Group is comprised of attorneys whose primary areas of law include Business, Dealer/Distributor and Franchising, Government Relations, Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment, Litigation, and Zoning and Land Use.  Bringing together attorneys from various Practice Groups ensures that our clients' specific needs are handled by an experienced legal team.

Our Alcoholic Beverage Law Practice Group assists the craft brewery, winery, and distilled spirits industries in understanding and complying with the complex rules and regulations enforced by the following agencies:

  • Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • Federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  • North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission
  • North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE)
  • North Carolina Department of Revenue

The Alcoholic Beverage Law Practice Group also has the knowledge and ability to assist clients with the following:

  • Brewing or distilling operations;
  • Entity formation, capital fundraising, operational agreements, starting a business, and mergers and acquisitions;
  • Equipment purchasing and warranty, contract brewing, alternating proprietorships, and ground and equipment leases;
  • Labeling compliance, Certificate of Label Approvals, submission, advertising, intellectual property protection, and warehouse and distribution agreements;
  • Local zoning, health department, water district, and licensing;
  • Packaging and selling;
  • Permitting; and,
  • Protecting formulas, recipes, and trade secrets.

Ward and Smith is a member of the Brewers Association and the North Carolina Brewers Guild.  The attorneys in this Practice Group also are members of numerous legal organizations, including the American and North Carolina Bar Associations.

We are your established legal network with offices in Asheville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and Wilmington, NC.