Young and Hungry

Restaurants Can Now Make and Sell Their Own Booze

shutterstock_176561861Will distillery pubs soon be the new brewpubs? A recently enacted D.C. law allows restaurants to distill their own liquor on premises or next door, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration announced today. The distillery pub permit, which is also available to tavern, nightclub, and hotel licensees, allows establishments to sell the liquor they produce for on- or off-premise consumption.

Another new law allows distilleries and breweries to sell and deliver alcohol seven days a week. (Sunday sales were restricted before.)  Alcohol manufacturers can also now conduct tastings every day from 1 to 9 p.m. Previously, they were restricted to Thursday through Saturday.

Atlas Brew Works co-founder Justin Cox says he's already put in paperwork for new hours. The brewery plans to open up for tastings and tours beyond those it does on Saturday, but Cox isn't yet sure which days. He says a lot of people, especially those in the bar and restaurant industry, aren't able to make it on Saturdays. "It's nice to have options rather just one day. If they have something going on Saturday, and they still want to get a growler that week, they'll be able to do that."

New Columbia Distillers also currently does public tastings on Saturdays only, and co-founder John Uselton says he doesn't plan to change that. But he's happy to at least have the ability to serve people who stop by randomly throughout the week, whether its industry folks who have Mondays off, out of town visitors, or groups that want arrange a special mid-week tour.

"It was kind of silly that if somebody wanted to come on a Wednesday... we could do a tour with them, we could show them how it's all made, but we couldn't give them a drop," he says.

Read the full press release from ABRA below:

Permit to Distill Liquor Now Available to District ABC Establishments
New Laws Allow Alcohol Manufacturers to Sell, Deliver, Conduct Tastings Seven Days a Week

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Three new alcoholic beverage laws are in effect that could impact the businesses of on-premise establishments and alcohol manufacturers in the District.

An ABC licensed restaurant, tavern, nightclub, hotel or multipurpose facility that has a class C license can now apply with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) for a Distillery Pub Permit. The permit allows an on-premise establishment to manufacture, distill and store craft liquors—like gin and vodka—on licensed premises or in an area immediately adjacent to the premises.

The Distillery Pub Licensure Act of 2013 (B20-29) also permits licensees to sell the liquor they produce to patrons for either on or off-premise consumption. Sales for off-premise consumption must be in sealed containers and can occur from 7 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week. Spirits may also be sold to wholesalers for resale to other ABC licensees in the District.

An ABC licensed establishment can apply for a distillery pub permit by visiting ABRA’s office located at 2000 14th St., NW. The annual fee for the permit is $7,500.

Another new law allows manufacturers to sell and deliver alcoholic beverages from 7 a.m.-midnight, seven days a week. Prior to the Manufacturers’ Sunday Sale Act of 2013 (B20-197) taking effect, manufacturers were prohibited from selling and delivering to wholesalers, retailers and consumers on Sundays.

Manufacturers will also gain four additional days to conduct product tastings. The Manufacturer Tasting Permit Act of 2013 (B20-234) allows an alcoholic beverage manufacturer that has a tasting permit to conduct product tastings from 1-9 p.m., seven days a week. Manufacturers were previously permitted to conduct tastings Thursday through Saturday.

All three laws were approved by the D.C. Council and signed into law by Mayor Vincent C. Gray. Visit www.abra.dc.gov to learn more about alcoholic beverage laws in the District.

Photo via Shutterstock

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