Wine, Beer, and Spirits Laws and Regulations

Course Code: FSC 821

Credits: 3 credits

This course examines the laws, regulations, and policies that govern alcoholic beverages in the United States. The emphasis is on federal laws, specifically regulation by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Among other concepts, this course will cover: industry’s primary regulators, the classification of beverages, the regulation of labeling and advertising, three-tier distribution system, excise taxes, and liability.

All reading assignments will be available as downloads within the modules or via the provided URLs. The learning objectives of this course are to enable students to:

  • Recognize the overarching themes of alcohol regulation in the United States
  • Understand the nature of the regulatory process as it pertains to alcoholic beverages
  • Identify agencies’ roles in the regulation of alcohol beverages
  • Understand the classification of alcohol beverages
  • Introduce the concepts of labeling and excise taxation as applied to alcohol beverages
  • Explore distribution and sale of alcohol beverages


This course is offered each spring semester.

Tips for first time enrollees:

Non-MSU students and food industry professionals may enroll for this course through MSU's Lifelong Education portal.  (Make sure to choose 'first-time user' and then 'NON-DEGREE' from the drop down list on the application.) Transcript submission is not required through the Lifelong Education program.