abra

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration
 

DC Agency Top Menu


-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Types of ABC Licenses

ABC licenses are issued in the District based on license type and class.

License Types

There are several alcoholic beverage license types:

  1. Manufacturer: Operates a plant that manufactures spirits, wine (including cider) or beer.
  2. Wholesaler: Sells alcoholic beverages to other District ABC licensees for resale.
  3. Off-premise retailer: A stores where alcoholic beverages may be purchased but may only be consumed off of the licensed premises or an Internet site where alcohol can be ordered online.
  4. On-premise retailer: An establishment where alcoholic beverages may be purchased and consumed on the licensed premises. On-premises retailers include restaurants, taverns, nightclubs, hotels, bed and breakfasts, theaters, museums, sports facilities, passenger-carrying ships and trains.
  5. Caterer: Sells and serves alcoholic beverages at catered events as part of the licensee’s preparation and service of food.
  6. Festival License: Temporarily permits the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages at sporting or performing arts events for up to 15 days.
  7. Temporary License: Temporarily permits the sale and service of alcoholic beverages for up to four days at banquets, picnics, bazaars, fairs or similar public gatherings.
  8. ABC Manager: Individual certified to manage one or more ABC establishments.
  9. Solicitor: Permitted to transport samples of alcoholic beverages to ABC-licensed establishments on behalf of a vendor and to take orders on behalf of the vendor that the solicitor represents.

License Classes

License class determines the kinds of alcoholic beverages an establishment can sell.

  • Manufacturer Class A: Permits the production of spirits and wine (wine includes cider). 
  • Manufacturer Class B: Permits the production of beer.
  • Manufacturer Class C: Permits the production of baked goods with a maximum of five percent of alcohol per volume.
  • Wholesaler Class A: Permits the distribution and sale of spirits, beer and wine.
  • Wholesaler Class B: Permits the distribution and sale of beer and wine.
  • Off-premises Retailer Class A: Permits a store to sell spirits, beer, and wine for consumption off of the licensed premises.
  • Off-premises Retailer Class B: Permits a store to sell beer and wine for consumption off of the licensed premises.
  • Internet Class A: Permits a retailer that does not have a physical location to sell spirits, beer and wine online.
  • Internet Class B: Permits a retailer that does not have a physical location to sell beer and wine online.
  • On-premises Retailer Class C: Permits the sale, service and consumption of spirits, beer and wine at a restaurant, tavern, nightclub, hotel, bed and breakfast and multipurpose facility. The licenses are further defined as follows by type of establishment:
    • Restaurant: C/R license
    • Tavern: C/T license 
    • Nightclub: C/N license 
    • Hotel: C/H license 
    • Bed and Breakfast: C/B license
    • Multipurpose facility: C/X license
  • On-premises Retailer Class D: Permits the sale, service and consumption of beer and wine at a restaurant, tavern, nightclub, hotel and multipurpose facility. The licenses are further defined as follows:
    • Restaurant: D/R license
    • Tavern: D/T license
    • Nightclub: D/N license
    • Hotel: D/H license
    • Bed and Breakfast: D/B license
    • Multipurpose Facility: D/X license
  • Club Class C: Permits consumption of spirits, beer and wine at a club.
  • Club Class D: Permits consumption of beer and wine at a club.
  • Common Carrier Class C: Permits the sale, service, and consumption of spirits, beer, and wine on a passenger carrying train or boat.
  • Common Carrier Class D: Permits the sale, service, and consumption of beer and wine on a passenger carrying train or boat.
  • Temporary License Class F: Temporarily permits the sale and consumption of beer and wine for up to four days at banquets, picnics, bazaars, fairs or similar public gatherings.
  • Temporary License Class G: Temporarily permits the sale and consumption of spirits, beer and wine for up to four days at banquets, picnics, bazaars, fairs or similar public gatherings.
  • Festival License Class H: Temporarily permits the sale and consumption of beer and wine at sporting, cultural or performing arts events for up to 15 days.
  • Festival License Class I: Temporarily permits the sale and consumption of spirits, beer and wine at sporting or performing arts events for up to 15 days.
  • Farmer's Market Class J: Permits district manufacturers, brew pub, wine pub or distillery to operate as a vendor for tastings of the product it produces, including beer and wine. 
  • Farmer's Market Class K: Permits district manufacturers, brew pub, wine pub or distillery to operate as a vendor for tastings of the product it produces, including spirits, beer and wine.