New law means new rules for D.C. brewers and distillers

WASHINGTON — Brewers and distillers in the District have new rules to play by. Newly enacted legislation allows them to participate in farmers markets and be open past 9 p.m., among other things.

The Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Act of 2015 went into effect Wednesday. It allows breweries and distilleries to expand operating hours and serve wine and alcohol at private parties and host entertainment.

Brandon Skall, who runs D.C. Brau Brewing Co., says the law will level the playing field with regional competitors.

“These are all changes that will allow us to hire more people, put more people to work from the general area here, as well as increase tax revenue for the city,” Skall says.

Additionally, both breweries and distilleries can now participate in farmers markets in the area that have alcoholic beverage licenses.

“While at those markets, they can provide tastings of their products and sell bottles people can take home with them,” says Jesse Cornelius with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

So far, four out of the 11 businesses in the District who this law affects have applied for permits to extend their hours and host entertainment, Cornelius says.

D.C. Brau is one of them.

“We get a lot of requests for weddings, birthdays, and corporate events, but you don’t want to limit yourself to just beer for one of those events,” Skall explains.

“So this would allow us to purchase other forms of alcohol to do special events like that.”

He also plans on extending D.C. Brau’s hours, which before now were limited to serving alcohol between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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