D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the introduction of a new bill that makes collaboration easier among local alcoholic beverage manufacturers and helps them sell their products in the District.
“As Washingtonians, we love to buy and sell products that are made in D.C. This legislation is going to make it easier for residents to purchase locally made products and also make it more convenient and affordable to do business in D.C,” Bowser said in a statement on Monday, commenting on the “Manufacturer and Pub Permit Parity Amendment Act of 2019.”
The move would be the latest in a string of regulations in the past eight years that paved the way for breweries and wineries to grow in D.C. after decades.
According to the new bill that would amend Title 25 of the D.C. Code, holders of wine pub and distillery pub permits would be allowed to ship products directly to District residents and pub permit holders would be allowed to manufacture alcoholic beverages off site if the production facility is within 600 feet of the license (currently production facilities must be adjacent to the licensed establishment).
In addition, breweries that manufacture alcoholic drinks with other breweries would be allowed to deliver those products for off-premises consumption in crowlers, and the permitted alcohol would be increased by volume percentage for wine manufactured in D.C. from 15 percent to 21 percent, bringing the District’s policies more in line with other jurisdictions, including Virginia, if the bill is enacted.
Another change brought by the legislation is a debated one, which is considered a “gray area” by the Mayor’s Office: The exemption of District residents making beer or wine at home from licensure requirements unless the product is for sale.
With the new permissions, the bill is aiming to help D.C.-based alcohol businesses stay competitive regionally, and expand.
Speaking to DCist about the new bill, Fred Moosally, the director of the District’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, said “Before D.C. Brau, we didn’t really have any breweries or wineries or distilleries in the District.”
“The laws changed to make this a good place to do business for people who are manufacturing alcohol,” he added.