Michael Peticolas capped off his law practice last year so he could do what he really loves: brew fresh craft beer and sell it to bars. But he is finding out that the law is as important an ingredient in his business recipe as hops and barley. And, thanks to his own lawyering and the work of some kindred spirits in Austin, the legal landscape for Lone Star State brewers might just change.

A combination of city, state and federal laws — some dating back to the Prohibition era — come into play when an entrepreneur sets up a brewery, Peticolas says. Although a few of those laws are as ridiculous as they are frustrating, a businessperson must follow them to the letter to avoid costly mistakes.

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