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Liquor Lawyers / Alcohol Industry Experts

Michael A. Brower | Mark Fellwock | James R. Stariha

Michael A. Brower

Michael A. Brower

Legal Practice Areas:

Liquor Lawyer, Liquor Licensing at the State and Federal level, Real Property Law (purchase, sale, and lease of real property), Trademarks, Business Law, Administrative Law

Consulting Areas of Expertise:

Alcohol Beverage Marketing and Business Operations

Academic History:

Michael is an alumnus of Spring Lake High School, Grand Valley State University, and DePaul University College of Law.  He graduated Summa Cum Laude from DePaul, ranking in the top 5% of his class.

Publications:

Michael A. Brower, Michigan’s Secondary Use Advertising Ban: Archaic, Unconstitutional, and About the Money, Mich. Hosp’y Rev., Nov. 2013.
Michael A. Brower, The “Backlash” of the Warranty of Habitability: Theory vs. Analysis, 60 DePaul L. Rev. 849 (2011).

Professional Associations:

Michigan Licensed Beverage Association
Michigan Business Brokers Association
Michigan Business & Professional Association
Michigan Food & Beverage Association

Other Involvements:

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company – Co-Owner / Beer Barrister
Michigan State University College of Law – Adjunct Professor, Hospitality Law
Boy Scouts of America – Eagle Scout, Troop 14 (Spring Lake)
Boy Scouts of America – Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 14
Western Youth Leadership Development – Board Member

More About Michael:

In addition to his career as a liquor lawyer, Michael is a proud resident of Muskegon and an afficianado of all things “West Michigan.”  Born and raised near the big lake, Michael loves spending his summers on the water.  Much of his free time is spent at his microbrewery or relaxing with his wife and two dogs.

Mark Fellwock

Mark Fellwock

Consulting Areas of Expertise:

Financial Systems, Start-Up Business Planning, Payroll Services, Budgeting, Craft Beverage Business Operations, Liquor Licensing

Industry Experience:

Mark has spent the last eight years working hands-on in the craft beverage industry. He started his career with a regional craft brewery, where his responsibilities varied from merchandise management and procurement to the management of all internal financials (including budgeting, integration of POS and other services into the financial platform, payroll, federal and state taxes, accounts payable and receivable, and loan completion and compliance). After five years, Mark left the brewery to co-found one of Michigan’s first craft distilleries. At the distillery, he participated in all aspects of the business, including production, tasting room operations, sales, and distribution (managing relationships with distributors across three states).

Academic History:

Mark graduated from Hope College with a B.S. in Management and Accounting.

Professional Associations:

Grand Rapids Cocktail Guild – Founding Member

More About Mark:

In addition to his work in the Michigan Craft Beverage industry, Mark is happily married and lives in Holland, MI. He and his wife have traveled the West Coast of Michigan extensively. Mark is an avid cyclist – both mountain and road biking. If not riding his bike to downtown Holland with his wife for a beer, you can find him out on the roads or trails pedaling away.  During his spare time, you can also find Mark pouring beer at Our Brewing Co. in downtown Holland.

James R. Stariha

James R. Stariha

Practice Areas:

As a result of his extensive experience in the field, Jim is commonly referred to as the “Master” or “Godfather” of Michigan liquor law.  Over the course of his career, Jim spent well over 45 years as a liquor licensing attorney/liquor lawyer.

Academic History:

Jim graduated from Muskegon Heights High School and attended Marquette University for his undergraduate studies. Jim received his legal training at the University of Michigan Law School.

More About Jim:

Jim is now retired and no longer actively practices as a liquor licensing attorney. He does, however, continue to offer the wisdom he gained over fifty years of practice through advice, guidance, and consulting to the firm.