Is Your Craft Beverage Production Facility In Compliance With the Clean Water Act?

D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. settled with the EPA relating to 141 alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations where it will pay $2.8 million in fines. The Pennsylvania brewery will pay $2.8 million penalty, plus approximately $7 million in promised wastewater system improvements. The company operates two brewery facilities and both failed to comply with industrial user permit limits on wastewater discharges that went to the local municipal wastewater collection and treatment system. More specifically, the charges state that the brewery wastewater exceeded the discharge limits for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), phosphorous, zinc and pH. This could negatively impact the entire public municipal wastewater system. When the wasre streams exceed allowable limits, wastewater streams must be pretreated by the brewery before being discharged into the local municipal system.

To avoid future violations, the brewery agreed to wastewater system updates including designing and implementing an environmental management system (EMS) focused on CWA compliance, improving and installing a comprehensive pretreatment system, hiring two certified wastewater treatment operators and implementing a process to identify, investigate and respond to future CWA violations.

The average water use ratio for a brewery is about 7:1, that is, seven gallons of water are consumed for each gallon of beer produced. (The other six gallons are primarily going down the drain.) While brewery wastewater is not generally toxic or hazardous, it can contain low levels of biocides and metals, and higher levels of biodegradable materials, that can be problematic for municipal wastewater treatment plants. Without pretreatment, brewery wastewater may exceed regulatory discharge limits for some parameters such as pH, metals and phosphorus. As a result, brewery wastewater can be more costly for the municipality to treat and can increase the quantity of sludge needing disposal.

What does this mean for your microbrewery?

  1. Evaluate what is going down the drain and where it goes.
  2. If the discharge is into the local municipal sewer system, then determine if you must obtain an industrial user wastewater permit.
  3. If you are put under formal permit or contract with the EPA or DEC, then evaluate whether your untreated wastewater can consistently comply with those requirements or if onsite pretreatment is required.

Making beer is fun but you must keep in mind you are in an industrial food production business and there are environmental regulations to comply with. Failure to do so can lead to very significant fines and penalties. Working with an environmental engineer or experienced craft beverage or environmental attorney can help you navigate the regulations and ensure your operations are in compliance.

       

          Tracy_Jong   About Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

Posted in Hot Topics: Liquor Law & Licensing, Liquor Stores, Microbreweries & Microdistilleries, Restaurants, Wineries | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to do if your building has more than one legal address

The Authority is now requiring that the address appearing on the license, bond and lease match the 911 system and the deed for the property. This can be confusing when it differs from the mailing address for the leased premises.

Let’s look at an example. A corner multiple unit commercial building in Canandaigua has two street level commercial retail units along Beeman Street, 5 and 7 Beeman Street and one street level commercial retail unit along Main Street, 195 Main Street. It also has several residential apartment units on the second floor 6A, 6B and 6C. In this situation, the lease, bond and licensed premises must be “5-7 Beeman Street; 195 Main Street” as recited on the deed.

Let’s look at another example. A downtown multiple unit commercial building in LeRoy has two street level commercial retail units at  7 and 9 Main Street. The deed for the building lists the property as  7, 9, 11, and 13 Main Street. It also has several residential apartment units on the second floor. The street address for 7 Main Street will be a farm brewery. The street address at 9 Main Street will be an adjacent restaurant. In this situation, the lease, bond and licensed premises must be “7-13 Main Street, unit 7 Main Street” for the brewery and “7-13 Main Street, unit 9 Main Street” for the restaurant.

If the building has more than one legal address, the Authority requests that applicants additionally submit one or more of the following supporting documents with the original application:

  • All property tax bills for the building
  • Letter from 911 system verifying the address(es) in its system for the building as a whole
  • Deed for the building
  • Letter from the Post Office verifying mailing addresses associated with the building

The Examiner may request additional documentation at his or her discretion.

 

 

 

 

 

            Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

Posted in Hot Topics: Liquor Law & Licensing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Rochester rated number 10 in America for female entrepreneurs- five reasons I agree.

A small business lending group, Merchant Cash USA, ranked Rochester a great city for female small business owners, sharing the top ten with Portland, San Antonio, Atlanta, Houston and Raleigh. For many of us women- owned Rochester businesses, this is no secret. Let me share some of the reasons my business lives this fact every day.

  1. There are so many resources to help small businesses right here in Rochester. We have world-class talent at our doorstep. Whatever you need, I’ll bet you’ll find it here in town.
  2. We are lucky to have strong business coaching services and groups like TAB and Vistage. I did not know what a business coach was or that I could benefit from one until a colleague convinced me to give it a try. Now I couldn’t imagine facing business challenges without the help of other business owners and a professional coach as my accountability partner.
  3.  There is support for female business leaders. If you are good at what you do, there is opportunity. Being female won’t hold you back in Rochester.
  4. There are strong networking and professional groups waiting for your involvement. These are not just places to potentially get business, they are places to meet like-minded individuals and people you can call on when you face a particularly difficult challenge or when you want to run an idea past someone to check your sanity.
  5. There is room for women and businesses of all sizes and shapes. I genuinely mean that you can be successful just for being good at what you do- no need for pretense; you can work from home or have a virtual business and be as successful as businesses with brick and mortar storefronts. You can look like someone who just left the salon or be a middle-aged mother and still attract business because of your skills.

If you have been considering starting a business, there is no time like the present. Hey, if you need help, give me a call. Been there. Done that.

 

Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed intellectual property and patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a monthly publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

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Alternating Proprietorship and Participation of Host in Tenant’s Operations

If I have an alternating proprietorship, Can I use the host’s staff as independent contractors to assist me in alcoholic beverage production?

Yes, as long as the written agreement between the Host and Tenant provides for this situation and it is structured to be compliant with federal law. The key factors that the TTB will consider in evaluating the relationship include:

Authority of the “independent contractor” and

Who makes operational decisions?

The proprietor whose product is being manufactured must exercise its own decision-making authority. The Host’s employees may be consultants to the proprietor, but may not be the ultimate decision-maker. This is especially the case for day to day operational matters such as bottling, storage and management of the operations. To be compliant, the tenant producer must issue written work orders and operational guidelines. It is acceptable for the proprietor to give limited discretion and authority to the consultant, but it must retain ultimate decision-making control for itself.

Similarly, auditors and inspectors should be able to discuss all records and reports with the principals of the Tenant business. The Tenant proprietor cannot abdicate its responsibility to prepare records and reports, or to pay taxes, to an independent contractor’s employees or consultants. Doing so will be a violation for “inadequate control.”

It is important that the Tenant producer have separate records. A subaccount of the host’s records will not be adequate. The Tenant must independently have access and control of its separate records, without going through the account or records of another business. (Yes, a separate user ID is needed and will have to be purchased for internet web-based systems). Cooperation is a core value and practice within the craft beverage industry. However; the road ends here at record keeping. These duties are required of each business separately. Failure to comply is completely at the liability and responsibility of the Tenant for its operations at the altering premises. Getting caught risks the license and/or some hefty fines.

The last area of concern is with payment for the services. Many arrangements provide for a trade in product rather than a cash payment. While this is permissible, it’s a taxable payment that must be recorded on the books and all appropriate payroll and income taxes paid.

Owning and Operating a Brewery, Cidery, Distillery & Winery has become an Increasingly Nuanced Profession

Regulations, licensure and legal risks are always evolving, and working with an attorney who is up to date on the latest strategies is essential for advising you how to minimize and maximize opportunities.

Schedule your Business Strategy Session with by emailing our office at team@tracyjonglawfirm.com today

 

 

 

             Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

 

Posted in Hot Topics: Liquor Law & Licensing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Summer Read

   Leane Itale introduced Susan Cheever’s Drinking In America: Our Secret History. I will be reading it this summer and hope you will join me. I love the tidbits about the role of alcohol in historical events. Her researched factual account of events surrounding major US historical moments lends an interesting viewpoint to the role alcohol plays in our society and culture. She uncovers the opposing forces of alcohol overindulgence and prohibition (tea totaling). This is a discussion worth exploring.

 

            Tracy_Jong About Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

Posted in Hot Topics: Liquor Law & Licensing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Ways Restaurants Can Use Technology to Combat the $15 Minimum Wage Increase

  1. Beer walls like Ruins Pub in Kansas City
  2. Automated cocktail dispensing machines like Tended Bar
  3. Tableside or kiosk automated ordering and payment systems

These touch screen technologies appeal to customers because they don’t have to wait for servers to place an order or bring the check. They also reduce the chance of incorrect orders and failure to charge for food and beverage. These are two of the biggest profit loss and resource waste issues that can be hard to contain. The public is becoming familiar with the technology as it is used at all ball parks and franchise casual eateries.

These automated devices are not appropriate in fine dining but are a cost reduction strategy fast food and casual establishments should consider to address the minimum wage increases.

 

           Tracy_Jong  About Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Money Making Idea

Working with a lot of craft and microbreweries, I am often asked about adding event space, additional bar space and outdoor seating. The good news is that business is brisk enough to justifying adding more functional space to service more customers.

The best business strategy identifies an unmet need in the marketplace: let’s take stock. Millennials have a tremendous spending power. Millennials make purchasing decisions based on identification with the core values of the business. Millennials support small local businesses and quality, fresh food and beverage products. Millennials spend much of the work day “plugged in” to electronic devices or working from home.

Enter craft breweries, a business millennials tend to support. Craft breweries offer a casual social atmosphere where people can meet after a long day of work without the stress and hassle of a typical bar and “pick up joint.” They also make a great atmosphere for a business meeting.

What about larger business meetings? Having a separate room with a large table can provide the perfect meeting space. Why haven’t you done this already?

 

             Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

Posted in Hot Topics: Liquor Law & Licensing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

This machine can help restaurant & bars fight $15 hr minimum wage

As a patent attorney with a practice focus on restaurants, bars & craft beverage producers, I was excited to learn about Tended Bar, an automatic alcoholic beverage dispensing machine. Not only is the technology just plain cool, it can be one solution to help hospitality businesses deal with the $ 15 per hour labor costs. This device can eliminate an employee or two from the payroll. Employees are still needed to check IDs and monitor the machine’s supplies, but labor costs can be reduced, yielding substantial savings to employers. The savings will also extend to payroll taxes, health care costs, worker’s compensation, and disability and unemployment costs.

Another bonus; reduced employee theft at the bar, one of a restaurant & bar owner’s biggest problems. Worth checking out.

 

             Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

ROC Flavors Introduces Vegetarian Indian Food

Michele Kayal’s From an actress to an author of Indian Cookbooks: the lives of Madhur Jaffrey in ROC flavors introduces vegetarian Indian food. I am not vegetarian but I absolutely love vegetables and ethnic food. The flavors of India bring excitement to the pallet in a way I promise you won’t miss meat. I have enjoyed many vegetarian Indian dishes -and they are amazing. Rochester has some wonderful Indian restaurants but the ability to enjoy these dishes at home is welcome. I have introduced many people to Indian cuisine –it is a flavorful way to reduce fat and carbs. If you are looking for a flavor adventure, give this cookbook a try.

            

 

Tracy_JongAbout Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

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On Call Practice Could Result in Big Penalties and Back Wages

Restaurant Owners should take note of the New York Attorney General’s written notice to several national retailers (J Crew, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Williams & Sonoma, and Urban Outfitters) concerning “on call” requirements for employees. The Attorney General believes these practices may violate minimum wage laws. Additionally, these practices do not allow employees the ability to make child care arrangements, transportation arrangements, or budget for family finances. The state has a clear agenda to either eliminate this practice or compensate the employees for not being free to attend to personal activities because they could be called into work upon a moment’s notice.

Employers can meet needs for sick days or other paid time off by offering voluntary shifts to other employees. This is not without challenges, but offers one alternative to address the last minute staffing needs that often are present in the restaurant industry while avoiding possible penalties for wage law violations.

 

            Tracy_Jong About Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong has been an attorney for more than 20 years,      representing restaurants, bars, and craft beverage manufacturers in a wide array of legal matters. She is also a licensed patent attorney.

Her book Everything You Need To Know About Obtaining and Maintaining a New York Retail Liquor License: The Definitive Guide to Navigating the State Liquor Authority will be available next month on Amazon.com as a softcover and Kindle e-book.

Her legal column is available in The Equipped Brewer, a publication giving business advice, trends, and vendor reviews to help craft breweries, cideries, distilleries and wineries build brands and succeed financially.

She also maintains a website and blog with practical information on legal and business issues affecting the industry. Follow her, sign up for her free firm app or monthly newsletter.

www.TracyJongLawFirm.com

TJong@TracyJongLawFirm.com

Facebook: Tracy Jong Law Firm

Twitter:      @TJLawFirm

LinkedIn:   Tracy Jong

Tracy Jong Law Firm

 

Posted in Restaurants | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment