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Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
 

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Alcohol License Types and Classes

Alcohol licenses are generally classified by their Type and Class.   

The Type distinguishes the permitted activity. The Class distinguishes between the right to manufacture, sell, and/or serve “wine and beer” or “spirits, wine, and beer” or “baked goods with up to five (5) percent ABV”. The Class is denoted by one or two letters.  

For example, an establishment could hold a Manufacturer Class A license which would permit the licensee to produce spirits, wine, and beer, or a Private Club Class D license which would permit the licensee to sell and serve only wine and beer.  

Alcohol licenses also denote any ABC Board approved Endorsements or Permits.  

License Types 

Type Class
(where applicable)
Allowance

Manufacturer

A or B      

Permits the manufacturing and sale of alcohol for on- and off-premises consumption.

Wholesaler A or B Permits the sale of alcohol to DC-licensed establishments for resale.

Off-Premises Retailer  

A or B  Permits the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption.
On-Premises Retailer C or D

Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol on premises. The establishment is further classified as being either bed & breakfast (B), hotel (H), multipurpose facility (X), nightclub (N), restaurant (R), or tavern (T). 

Commercial Lifestyle

C/L or D/L                                   Permits patrons to purchase and consume alcohol from licensed on-premises retailers within predefined boundaries of a commercial development. 
Third-Party Alcohol Delivery    Permits local, same-day delivery of alcohol by companies on behalf of retailers and manufacturers. 
Full-Service Grocery Store B or D

Permits the sale of wine or beer at full-service grocery stores.

Private Club CX or DX Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol at a private club.
Common Carrier CX or DX Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol on a passenger-carrying train or boat.
Internet Retailer A or B Permits a retailer that does not have a physical location to sell alcohol online for delivery.

Farmers Market

J or K

Permits a farmer’s market to allow District alcohol manufacturers, brew pub, wine pub and distillery pub endorsement holders to operate as vendors.

Arena

CX or DX

Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol at a large facility for the performance of sports and entertainment events.

Caterer   Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol at catered events. Alcohol service must be incidental to the preparation and service of food. 
Temporary G or F Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol at a public event such as picnics, bazaars, or fairs lasting between one (1) to four (4) days.
Festival   Permits the sale, service, and consumption of alcohol at a public sports or cultural event lasting between five (5) to 15 days. 
Pub Crawl   Permits organizers to host a tour taking in multiple alcohol licensed establishments involving at least 200 participants.
ABC Manager   Permits an individual to serve as the responsible party on duty at a retailer or manufacturer with a tasting and consumption permit in the absence of the owner. 
Solicitor's License   Allows a representative of a wholesaler or manufacturer to legally sell alcoholic beverages on behalf of the business specified on their license and to transport samples to and from ABC-licensed establishments.

License Classes

License Types have an assigned letter to denote the class of alcohol they are approved to manufacture, sell, or serve. They include: 

Spirits, Wine, and Beer

  • A—Manufacturer, Wholesaler, Retailer, Internet Retailer
  • C— On-Premises Retailer, Restaurant, Hotel, Tavern, Nightclub, Multipurpose Facility, Private Club, Marine Vessel, Common Carrier, Arena, Bed and Breakfast
  • G—Temporary
  • I—Festival
  • K—Farmer’s Market
  • Caterer

Wine and Beer

  • B—Manufacturer, Wholesaler, Retailer, Internet Retailer
  • D—On-Premises Retailer, Restaurant, Hotel, Tavern, Nightclub, Multipurpose Facility, Private Club, Marine Vessel, Common Carrier, Arena, Bed and Breakfast
  • F—Temporary Events
  • H—Festival
  • J—Farmers Market

Wine Only

  • A—Manufacturer Winery

Beer Only

  • C—Manufacturer Brewery

Baked Goods with Up to Five (5) Percent ABV

  • C—Manufacturer