The Steptoe & Johnson Alcohol Team lawyers have the experience and expertise to creatively and effectively advise alcoholic beverage businesses on national and state issues. We routinely advise manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, and retailers in all aspects of their business. We understand the needs of the alcohol industry at every tier, and our goal is to provide personalized service for each client, whether a large national chain or a brand new start up.

Team attorneys, supported by the full strength of Steptoe & Johnson attorneys working in more than 40 areas of law, have assisted these businesses through formation, alcohol beverage control licensing, financing, construction, zoning and taxation issues.

The firm also provides ongoing advice regarding labor and employment issues, workers’ compensation, employee benefits, governmental relations and litigation specially crafted to meet the needs of the alcohol industry.


  • Alcohol beverage control licensing, including renewals
  • TTB permitting
  • Multi-state alcohol research and transactional projects
  • Regulatory and trade practice compliance
  • Label and formula approval
  • Server compliance classes teaching responsible practices
  • Distribution agreements, alternating proprietorship agreements and contract brewing agreements
  • Food and beverage regulations
  • Gaming
  • Business formation and organization
  • Private placements
  • Land acquisition, use and zoning
  • Environmental law
  • Construction and related contract review and assessment
  • Corporate financing
  • Employment law advice including counseling, training, employment agreements, and day-to-day operational advice
  • Labor relations, collective-bargaining, and assisting management with union avoidance
  • Litigation, including commercial employment, intellectual property, construction, and other forms of premises liability
  • Purchase and sale of existing businesses
  • Applied for hundreds of alcohol beverage licenses, representing almost every type of licensee
  • Defended clients against actions brought by governmental and regulatory agencies, including defending licensees against allegations of misconduct and alcohol violations
  • Assisted alcohol manufacturers, including distilleries, breweries, and wineries, as well as retailers, national franchises, bars and night clubs, themed restaurants, caterers, amusement parks, big-box retailers, and ski resorts
  • Represented clients in negotiation of franchise agreements
  • Represented clients in negotiation of local land use regulation
  • Assisted in the development of tax strategies for hospitality and related clients
  • Assisted clients in mergers and acquisitions, including stock purchase, asset purchase, and merger structures
  • Counsel alcohol clients on event hosting, sponsorships, and promotions
  • Represented alcohol clients in zoning, water rights, and disputes regarding restrictive covenants
  • Assist resorts, including casinos, in labor and employment issues, workers' compensation, and related counseling and litigation
  • Represented companies in the hospitality, banking, and construction industries in breach of contract and related claims