Craft Breweries and Distilleries

Our team of dedicated business lawyers are uniquely qualified to advise entrepreneurs and founders of craft breweries and distilleries through all phases of development and operations.

Whether you are taking those first steps to turn your dream of starting a brewery or a distillery into a reality, are outgrowing your initial system and space, or are looking at selling your interest in an established operation, our dedicated team of beer and distillery lawyers are available to assist with all of your legal needs.  From navigating the rules and regulations of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, to procurement, leasing, raising capital and brand protection, we have you covered. We will structure your business to protect your brand and enable growth and investment, while also helping you plan for your long term objectives.

We are strongly connected to your industry. From our sponsorship of the ‘Richard’s Buell Sutton LLP Rookie of the Year Award’ for BC’s best new brewery at the BC Beer Awards, to our representation of the BC Craft Brewers Guild and numerous brewers and distillers operating in BC, we are proud to recognized as BC’s foremost providers of legal services to the beer and spirits industries.  Our team of lawyers includes Scout Magazine’s feature beer writer, and a frequent guest instructor in the ‘brewery operations’ programs at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. We regularly contribute to the Craft Counsel Blog and the BC Beer Law blog, have been interviewed in numerous media outlets on matters pertaining to the regulation of BC’s craft beer industry, and are often invited to speak at conferences, tradeshows, and events.

Our team can advise you in all the areas you require, including:

Business structuring and incorporation

Your operating company will most likely be the applicant under your Manufacturer License application and the tenant under your lease, so our team of business lawyers will work closely with you to ensure that we establish the right legal structure to meet your specific needs, from reducing liability under the Liquor Control and Licensing Act to helping attract start-up capital and investment.

Government regulations, permits and licensing

Our lawyers have extensive experience navigating the regulatory framework that governs the manufacture and sale of liquor in British Columbia, and can help ensure your compliance with the rules and regulations of the British Columbia Liquor Control and Licensing Branch and British Columbia the Liquor Distribution Branch. We can also guide you through the application processes to secure the various permits and licenses that you’ll need to get your operation up and running, including a Manufacturer License from the British Columbia Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

Trademarks and brand protection

Our Trade-mark Agents manage all aspects of trade-mark portfolios in Canada, the USA, and abroad. We are recognized to practice before the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and the United States Patent and Trade-mark Office, and can work with you and your team to protect your name, logo and your other intellectual property from infringement.

Raising capital

We assist businesses of all types and at various stages to structure the most appropriate means of financing their growth, and balance issues of control with the need to attract investment. Whether you are seeking funding from friends and family, government incentives, angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity, or traditional lenders, our firm develops the most suitable financing structures while keeping costs and efficiency in mind.

Expanding your team

As your operation grows, our firm helps you establish and maintain an employment infrastructure that attracts and retains talent, simultaneously protecting your venture.

Commercial leasing

We regularly advise clients who own or lease industrial property, warehouse space, office buildings, air space and retail centres, and assist landlords and tenants with lease interpretations, specialized commercial leasing, structuring, preparing and negotiating of all types of leasing contracts. We have also appeared before all levels of court in complex commercial lease disputes and in arbitration proceedings on rent review, rent renewal, and other disputes.

Equipment procurement

We negotiate and draft procurement and supply agreements that protect your interests and yet help to build long term productive relationships with your suppliers.