You May Soon Take a Taste and Buy A Bottle of Booze/Beer at a Farmer’s Market

Photo by PoPville flickr user Joe Flood

From a press release:

“A new alcohol law goes into effect today providing new business opportunities for District farmer’s markets and alcohol manufacturers.

“This legislation gives a growing sector of the District’s economy a leg up connecting them with consumers right here in the District,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Together, we will continue to find innovative ways to expand economic opportunities for our small businesses and create more pathways to the middle class for District residents.”

As part of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Act of 2015, a District farmers’ market could apply for a new license to allow District breweries, distilleries and wineries to serve as market vendors. Under a farmers’ market license, a District alcohol manufacturer could provide tastings of its products at no cost and sell sealed bottles of its alcohol for off-premises consumption. In order to apply for the license, a farmer’s market would need to meet a host of qualifications and submit an application to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA).

In addition to being able to operate at licensed farmers’ markets, other provisions of the new law will allow District alcohol manufacturers to host events such as weddings and corporate functions.

For the first time, a manufacturer could apply to ABRA for a permit to provide entertainment. A brewery, distillery or winery issued an entertainment endorsement could host a live band or DJ; provide dancing facilities; and charge a cover for admission. In addition, the legislation allows District alcohol manufacturers to extend their operating hours to 8 a.m.-midnight, daily. Manufacturers were previously only able to operate from 1-9 p.m., daily. In order to apply for an entertainment endorsement or to change operating hours, a manufacturer would need to submit an application to ABRA.

The legislation also clarified that alcohol manufacturers can sell and serve pints of beer, glasses of wine and cocktails with spirits at private events that are produced by other manufacturers. Any alcohol—produced by an outside manufacturer— would need to be purchased from a District-licensed manufacturer or wholesaler. A manufacturer continues to be restricted to only selling and serving alcohol it manufacturers for non-private events.”

6 Comment

  • HaileUnlikely

    I honestly hadn’t even realized that this previously was not allowed. I frequent the downtown Silver Spring farmers market (it is the closest one to my house) and they have had wine available for a long time.

    • General Grant Circle

      Hey now! To quote the roving packs of youth “stop snitchin”

      • Probably the rules are different in Silver Spring than they’ve been in D.C.. So the market wouldn’t have been violating them.

    • I had the same reaction, but I go to the Takoma Park market, which is also in Maryland. It’s interesting that Maryland has more lax wine laws for farmers markets when it has such restrictive laws for wine sold at stores and to restaurants.

  • Any way to find out which markets are applying? Specifically, I’m hoping the Petworth market does.

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