The explosion of growth in recent years in winery and vineyard development has made the Pacific Northwest one of the country’s premier wine regions, second in volume of production only to California. The Pacific Northwest is also home to some of the most celebrated microbreweries in the world, and following recent changes in craft distillery laws, distillery activity is booming as well.
The attorneys of Foster Pepper’s Wineries, Breweries and Distilleries group are uniquely positioned to assist the settled or aspiring vintner, brewer, distiller and distributor in all facets of acquisition and operation.
Foster Pepper has knowledge and experience in all major areas of legal services for this industry, from formation and operations, to development of residential and hospitality projects. We also have experience in legal issues related to distribution and retailing.
Selection of the type of legal entity for ownership is an important first step and we can counsel in all forms of ownership and tax structures. Financing may be equity and/or debt, taxable or tax exempt. Our attorneys have extensive experience in navigating the various alternatives for business formation. Beverage operations have, in addition to the typical business issues, unique trademark, licensing, employment/labor, and tax issues. Our attorneys have successfully represented clients in all of these areas.
Industry developments range from purely agricultural activities to urban production, hospitality and residential developments, with a wide variety of mixed use developments in between. Depending on the unique circumstances of a specific project or operating enterprise, real estate transactional, land use and environmental issues often arise. Adequate water rights are critical for industry clients as well.