February 27, 2020

February 27, 2020

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Risks of Running a Brewery & How to Avoid Them

Beware of These Risks

Underage Drinkers, Intoxicated Patrons & Employee Restrictions

Restrictions on Employees

  • Employees are prohibited from drinking while on the job.

  • Employees who sell or serve alcoholic beverages must be at least 18 years old.

  • Employees under 21 years old are not permitted to mix drinks containing liquor.

  • Minors who are 16 or 17 years old are permitted to work at the brewery only if they do   not serve or sell any alcoholic beverages.

Sales to Underage Drinkers

It is unlawful to sell or serve alcohol to persons under 21 years old.

What should you do to protect yourself?

  • Train employees to request proper identification from customers.

  • Create a written policy for checking identification and have employees acknowledge that they have read and understand the policy.

  • Diligently supervise employees and their age verification practices.

How much might it cost you?

  • There is a cap on damages of $500,000 per occurrence.

Sales to Intoxicated Patrons

It is unlawful for a brewery or an employee of the brewery to knowingly sell alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person.

What should you do to protect yourself?

  • Train employees on warning signs that a customer may have had too much to drink.

  • Be cautious in your assessment of a customer’s condition.

How much might it cost you?

  • There is no cap on damages for sales to intoxicated persons.

  • A court may even impose punitive damages against you. 

© 2020 Poyner Spruill LLP. All rights reserved.


About this Author

Amanda L Sherin, Transactional Attorney, Poyner Spruill Law Firm

​Amanda assists in representing clients in a broad range of transactional matters. She is a member of the firm's Business Law and Financial Services practice groups.

Prior Legal Experience

Prior to joining Poyner Spruill, Amanda held various accounting positions with International Business Machines (IBM) from 2007-2011.   Amanda was a summer intern for Disability Rights North Carolina and also served as a Research Assistant to a University of North Carolina Law Professor.   Amanda was a summer clerk for Tuggle Duggins P.A. and Poyner...

Deborah E. Sperati, Poyner Spruill Law firm, Creditor's Rights Lawyer, Bankruptcy Attorney

Deborah practices in the areas of Creditors' Rights, Civil and Commercial Litigation, and Bankruptcy. She frequently represents creditors in workouts, foreclosures, collections, bankruptcies, and lender liability matters. Her practice also includes representation of businesses and individual clients in a wide variety of civil litigation matters before State and Federal Courts, including contract disputes, fiduciary duty claims, property disputes, and fraud claims.