Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration

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ABRA issues alcoholic beverage licenses to manufacturers in the District. A licensed manufacturer is permitted to produce alcohol and to sell the products they produce to other licensed establishments, licensed dealers and consumers. There are three types of licenses:

  • Manufacturer Class A: Permits a distillery to distill spirits, a winery to produce wine, a cidery to produce cider.
  • Manufacturer Class B: Permits a brewery to produce beer. 
  • Manufacturer Class C: Permits a bakery to produce baked goods with a maximum of 5 percent of alcohol by volume. Learn more about these licenses on ABRA's website.

Class A and B manufacturers can obtain permits to expand their scope of operations. Permits can be applied for either at the time of initial application or after the license is issued. There are several types of permits available to manufacturers:

  • Tasting Permit: Allows a manufacturer to provide customers with a tasting of products on a portion of their licensed premises.
  • On-Site Sales and Consumption Permit: Allows a manufacturer to sell their products for consumption on their licensed premises.
  • Entertainment Endorsement: Allows a manufacturer that has an on-site sales and consumption permit to provide entertainment such as a a live band or DJ; provide dancing facilities; and charge a cover for admission. Manufacturers can apply for one, two or all three types of endorsements.
  • Summer Garden or Sidewalk Café Endorsement: Allows a manufacturer with an on-site sales and consumption permit to sell, serve, and allow the consumption of alcoholic beverages on outdoor public or private space.

Learn more about licensing fees and renewal schedules on ABRA's website. 


A manufacturer may be represented by a solicitor. A solicitor is required to obtain a solicitor's license from ABRA. The license authorizes a solicitor to sell alcoholic beverages on behalf of the manufacturer whose name appears on the license and whom the solicitor represents. A solicitor's license allows the licensee to transport samples to and from licensed establishments.

Private Events

A manufacturer that holds an on-site sales and consumption permit can sell and serve beer, wine and spirits at private events that are not open to the public for on-premises consumption. The beer, wine and spirits must be purchased from a licensed wholesaler or manufacturer.

Farmer's Markets

A manufacturers can serve as vendor at District farmer's market that has an ABC farmer's market license. As a vendor, a District alcohol manufacturer could provide tastings of its products at no cost and sell sealed bottles of its alcohol for off-premises consumption

Manufacturer Forms

If you are making any changes to an already licensed business, find the proper form here:

Additional Resources