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 it produces to other licensed establishments, licensed dealers and consumers. There are three types of licenses:

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 its products on a portion of its licensed premises.
  • On-Site Sales and Consumption Permit: Allows a manufacturer to sell its products for consumption on its 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.

A New Alcohol Law Provides Business Opportunities for District Alcohol Manufacturers. The new law allows manufacturers to:

  • extend operating, permit and endorsement hours to 8 a.m.- midnight, Monday-Sunday.
  • apply for entertainment endorsements.
  • participate in ABRA's Extended Holiday Hours, Inaugural Week and other types of extended hours programs available to other licensees.
  • file for a one-day substancial change permit up to 12 times per calendar year, allowing on-premises consumption of alcoholic beverages for a specific event.
  • sell and deliver alcohol produced at their licensed establishment over the internet directly to homes in the District between 7 am and midnight, seven days a week
  • sell collaboration products with other alcohol manufacturers, including those not located in the District.
  • sell collaboration beers for on-premises consumption that are not manufactured at their brewery; and permitted to sell collaboration beers in growlers for off-premises consumption. 

Alcohol manufacturers that want to operate and sell alcohol after midnight on a regular basis will undergo a 45 day public comment period.

For additional information on the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2018, see our 2018 Omnibus Tip Sheet.

License Renewals

Class A manufacturers (distilleries, wineries and cideries) are due to renew alcohol licenses by March 31, 2021. Complete details are available online. A schedule of renewal deadlines are available 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.


A manufacturer may sell its products in sealed bottles, barrels, cans, kegs and growlers for off-premise consumption. 

Farmer's Markets

A manufacturer can serve as a vendor at a 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