State Distribution Laws


License Needed to Self-Distribute: Yes
Statute: Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 66.24.244

Washington Statute

Brewers in Washington are permitted to self-distribute their own products and do not need to use a wholesaler.

Those that choose to use wholesalers must enter into written distribution agreements with those wholesalers. Brewers also aren’t allowed to:

  • Force wholesalers to accept beer they haven’t ordered
  • Set the resale price for their products
  • Restrict a wholesaler from selling or distributing another brand of beer
  • Unreasonably withhold their consent to the transfer of a wholesaler’s business.

Brewers cannot terminate their distribution agreements without first providing the wholesaler with 60 days’ notice, which must describe the reasons they are terminating. The wholesaler then has 60 days to fix the issue. However, a brewer does not need to provide notice prior to termination if the wholesaler engages in fraudulent dealings with the brewer, the wholesaler becomes insolvent, bankrupt, or otherwise makes an assignment to the benefit of creditors, or has its liquor license suspended for more than 14 days.

If the brewer does not have cause for terminating a distribution agreement, the terminated wholesaler is entitled to compensation from the new wholesaler (which may be the brewer if they are self-distributing) for the laid-in cost of their inventory and the fair market value of their distribution rights.

State WA | Trademark Watch Service

Fun Fact: Washington is the nation’s largest producer of hops.