This episode covers one of the most obvious and essential initial topics in Ownership and Organizational Structure. Yes, you need to explain your decisions and the resulting organizational outline in your business plan, but the importance of this gets into tax implications, decision making for the company, succession planning, following legal guidelines for investors, etc. And as Mary points out during this episode, you need to know your partners well, because you’re going to spend a lot of time together and you need to be on the same page.


Mary Brettmann, CPA, President, Beverage Business Builders

Mary holds an active CPA license in Minnesota and California & has 25+ years of experience in the corporate world. In prior lives, she has been a state auditor, a sales controller, an international treasury professional, a business owner and finally a craft brewing CFO for a fast growing regional craft brewery. Mary’s current mission is to teach the industry what she’s learned and to help people get to the next level in their journey. And so in 2015 Beverage Business Builders was born. Mary calls Minnesota – and now California –  home, but has clients all throughout the country.

Jeff Mendel, Partner/Director, Left Hand Brewing Co.

Mendy, aka Jeff Mendel, is one of the original owners of Tabernash Brewing Co, which merged with Left Hand Brewing Co. in 1998. Mendy has been on the Board of Directors for Left Hand since that time in addition to being fully immersed in all things with the Brewers Association. He is currently on the Events Committee for the BA, was co-Founder of the Colorado Brewers Guild, has been the Director for the Institute for Brewing Studies, and Director of the Microbrewers Conference and Trade Show among other leadership roles in the industry.

Jeffrey O’Brien, Attorney/Partner, Chestnut Cambronne PA  

Jeff O’Brien is a partner with the law firm of Chestnut Cambronne PA, practicing in the areas of business and real estate law.  He represents several craft breweries and distilleries, helping them with financing issues, real estate matters, the launch of their businesses, intellectual property protection, operational issues and all of their other legal needs.  He is a frequent commentator on issues pertaining to liquor law. Jeff is licensed in the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota.

About StartABrewery

StartABrewery is a collaboration amongst a fun group of craft beer industry veterans who are often invited to speak at beer business / brewing education programs. Each has offered to share their knowledge and experience to support the craft beer community as a whole by helping fledgling breweries in planning.

Conceived and coordinated by Candace L. Moon, The Craft Beer Attorney, and Laura Lodge of  Customized Craft Beer Programs, StartABrewery is provided as an educational resource for those dreaming of opening a brewery, those who are taking steps to make their dream a reality, and those who are opening their brewery doors and living it.