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Alcoholic Beverage Control

Alcohol service is a huge and positive part of the full service restaurant business. It is also a huge responsibility. Virginia, DC and Maryland each have its own laws and regulations governing the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages. But what is the same across state lines is the ever changing regulatory landscape.

From new ABC laws to enforcement initiatives, RAMW is an advocate for fair and reasonable legislation and is your resource for information on the alcoholic beverage regulations that affect your business.


All On-Premises Alcohol Sales & Consumption Suspended Effective Today at 4pm

March 19, 2020
The DC Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board adopted an emergency rulemaking prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption starting Thursday, March 19th at 4pm. You cannot serve alcoholic beverages to people while they wait for their food order. This is in effect through the duration of either or both the Mayor’s Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency . Please note for delivery and takeout of alcoholic beverages: they must be provided in sealed container and a beer with a lime in the top does not count as a seal. Establishments should not be giving out...

All Pub Crawl Permits for March Events Revoked

March 13, 2020
All pub crawl permits for events scheduled to take place in Washington, DC now through March 31, 2020 have been revoked effective immediately. The 6-0 decision by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board was made based on guidance from the District’s Department of Health (DOH) that all non-essential mass gatherings of more than 1,000 persons be cancelled to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Mayor’s Orders 2020-045 and 2020-046 indicate that the spread of COVID-19 represents an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of District residents that requires...

Montgomery County Alcoholic Beverage Services Update

March 18, 2020
Attention Montgomery County Restaurants, All restaurants licensed by the Montgomery County Board of License Commissioners may sell sealed containers of beer and wine for off-premises consumption along with a takeout or delivered meal. This permission includes the sale of bottles, cans, growlers, and crowlers for off-premises consumption and does not include the sale of alcoholic drinks in a to-go cup. This permission does not include liquor. This permission expires when the emergency order to close restaurants is lifted. Businesses may deliver beer and wine to Montgomery County addresses...

ABRA GUIDANCE | COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020

March 17, 2020
PLEASE READ THIS IN ITS ENTIRETY. Tuesday, March 17, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020. Included is a provision that allows ABC-licensed restaurants and taverns to sell beer, wine, and spirits in closed containers for carry-out and/ or delivery to DC residences in conjunction with the purchase of one or more prepared food items. Before an eligible restaurant or tavern may sell beer, wine, and spirits in closed containers for carry-out and delivery, they must register with ABRA — no exceptions . Registration can be completed in five...

Four New DC Alcohol Bills Are Effective 2/21 | Next Steps

February 21, 2020
(WASHINGTON, DC) – February 21, 2020 – How businesses sell, serve, and transport alcohol is changing. Four alcohol laws — introduced and signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser — focused on boosting access to DC-made products, fostering creativity and collaboration, creating parity within the manufacturing landscape, and alleviating administrative burdens for licensees became effective Friday, February 21, 2020. Notable improvements by law include: Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Amendment Act of 2019 Persons 18+ may deliver alcoholic beverages off-site including to DC residences...Read more

Thousands Of Wineries & Grapegrowers Formally Voice Concern Over Wine Tariffs

January 7, 2020
Original content: Forbes By Jill Barth Members of the Wine Origins Alliance yesterday submitted a jointly signed letter for the US Trade Representative’s (USTR) public comment period on tariffs in response to aircraft subsidies and France’s Digital Services Tax. The United States on December 2, 2019 threatened to impose tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French goods in retaliation for a digital services tax it says is discriminatory. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images) This action was followed by a second letter sent to Commissioner Phil Hogan, the...Read more

Behind the Rise of Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile

January 9, 2020
Original content: VinePair By Jennifer Simonson Chile runs along South America’s western edge from the dry desert in the north to a field of glaciers in the south. Rugged mountains, fertile valleys, never-ending coastline, rumbling volcanoes and scorched sand dunes all clash to provide this long, thin country with a captivating landscape. For winemakers, that landscape is more than captivating, it is a grape grower’s paradise. The low cost of land, rare interference from vine pests and diseases, dependable dry, warm summers, and nearby mountains providing a regular supply of fresh...Read more

3 Major Challenges For Wine In 2020, & What You Can Do About Them

January 9, 2020
Original content: Forbes By Cathy Huyghe Contributor If you’re a wine lover, and if you’re heads-up about current events and world news, then the New Year hasn’t been very celebratory so far. The bad news seems overwhelming and far-reaching, between devastating fires in Australia to bureaucrat types in Washington and Europe debating tariffs and deciding the fate of so many wine businesses we love. It seems overwhelming, partly because it feels so out of our control. I’d argue that, despite the large-scale ramifications of current events, there are things that...Read more

Holiday Drinks: How to Serve Them Safely & When to Stop Serving

December 16, 2019
Original content c/o: National Restaurant Association Get your staff up to speed on safe alcohol service. Holiday celebrations can bring in a lot of business for restaurants and bars. According to market research firm Technomic, alcohol sales during the fourth quarter of the year can account for up to 30% of alcohol sales overall (retail and restaurant). As operations get busy, staff members need to stay focused on serving alcohol responsibly, says Jay Lerdal, program manager for the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe Alcohol training program. During holiday celebrations, you...

Montgomery County Council Voices Support for the "Reform on Tap" Act

February 22, 2018
House Bill 518 supports the State’s breweries by lifting outdated restrictions on selling and purchasing craft beer ROCKVILLE, Md., February 22, 2018 —The Montgomery County Council sent a letter to the chair of the Economic Matters Committee, Delegate Dereck E. Davis, in unanimous support of Maryland House Bill (HB) 518, the Reform on Tap Act. HB 518 would lift restrictions on the selling and purchasing of beer at craft breweries throughout Maryland. The House Economic Matters Committee has scheduled a hearing for HB 518 on February 23 at 1:00pm. “Local breweries have a big...Read more

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