Breweries FAQ


Tax information

I heard there was a state tax increase on beer in Washington. Where can I learn more?
The Washington State beer tax high rate increased June 1, 2010. The rate does not apply to Washington State Microbreweries, Domestic breweries, or Out-of-State beer producers who have been approved to report and pay at the reduced tax rate.

When are tax reports due?
Tax reports must be submitted or postmarked on or before the 20th of the month following activity. A report must be filed each month, including those months when there is no activity. When the 20th falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, the filing must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than the next postal business day.

If you do not have any activity to report, you can file tax reports in advance.

Breweries may file their monthly tax reports and make payments online using the WSLCB’s Online Tax Reporting and Payment System. The system is available 24 hours a day, allows you to view previously filed reports, and is secure and confidential.

Additional information is available on the Beer and Wine Tax Reporting page.


Licensing information

Can a microbrewery have a warehouse off the microbrewery premises?
Yes, microbreweries operating as a distributor of their own products may maintain one warehouse off the microbrewery premises.

You must complete a Business License Application and Non-Retail Liquor and Cannabis Board Addendum for the warehouse through the Washington State Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service. The application will then go through the WSLCB licensing process.

Can a domestic brewery or microbrewery hold a retail liquor license?
Yes, the brewery or microbrewery licensee may hold up to two retail liquor licenses operated on or off the premises of the brewery or microbrewery. The retail license can be a tavern; beer and/or wine restaurant; or a spirits/beer/wine restaurant.

You must complete a Business License Application and Non-Retail Liquor and Cannabis Board Addendum through the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service. The application will then go through the WSLCB licensing process.

Can a microbrewery holding a spirits/beer/wine restaurant or beer/wine restaurant hold a caterer’s endorsement?
Yes. You must complete an Application for Added Endorsement.

Can I contract produce beer for someone else?

  • An in-state microbrewery can contract produce for another in-state microbrewery.
  • Both microbreweries must be a bona fide microbrewery and produce malt beverages.
  • Both microbreweries must claim production against their allotted 60,000 barrels.
  • There must be a written contract between the two microbreweries.

Do I need a federal permit to make beer?
If the product you produce will be sold, then you need a federal permit along with a state liquor license. Visit the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, U.S. Department of the Treasury, at for more information about federal permits.


Homemade beer

Can I make homemade beer at my home for private consumption?
Yes. A license is not required if the beer is for private consumption and is not for sale.

  • Homemade beer is not required to be consumed in the home where it was produced.
  • Homemade beer may be removed from the home for private consumption.
  • The amount of homemade beer an adult may remove from the home is 20 gallons.
  • Use of homemade beer at organized affairs, exhibitions, or competitions is considered private consumption.

Additional locations

What is allowed at my additional location?
You may sell drinks by the glass of beer of your own production, sell bottles to go, and offer food.


Pouring off premises

Can a brewery pour beer off their brewery premises?
Yes, but only at the following:

  • At a grocery store sampling event.
  • A beer tasting exhibition (event designed specifically for beer) or judging event.


Initial inspections

What happens at the WSLCB’s initial inspection of a brewery?

  • The enforcement officers will review the floor plan, measure wall separations, etc.
  • The officer will also review liquor laws specific to brewery licenses with you, and go over the following briefing form:


Special events

How can breweries participate in a special occasion event?

  • A brewery can donate product to a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation or association.
  • Please remember that the event is operated by the special occasion licensee, not the manufacturer.
  • A brewery may not sell beer to the public during these events.
  • A brewery may not donate money of any kind to these events (booth fees, sponsorship, etc.)
  • We do not currently offer portable licenses for breweries.
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