26 July 2017

The Government has today decided to progress the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016, by approving the drafting of a series of amendments to this Private Members Bill.

The Bill provides for the automatic grant by the Revenue Commissioners of a licence authorising the sale of intoxicating liquor produced on the premises to visitors at craft breweries and distilleries. Such sales can only take place between 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. daily.

The Government amendments will ensure that the rules that normally apply to the grant of retail licences will apply to licences granted under the Bill. This will mean that operators of craft breweries and distilleries will have to apply to the court for a certificate before a licence can be granted by the Revenue Commissioners. Furthermore, the licence will be subject to annual renewal. The amendments will confine the sale of intoxicating liquor to visitors who have participated in and completed a tour of the premises concerned.

Welcoming the Government decision, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. said that:
“The Government is fully committed to supporting regional and local development and fully exploiting the job-creation potential of artisan food production and local tourism initiatives. As was once the case many years ago, nearly every town now has its own craft brewery – such as 12 Acres and Ballykilcavan Brew
 in my own town of Portlaoise. Some craft breweries and distilleries admit visitors for guided tours of their premises, which attracts tourists to the area and creates local employment opportunities. This also contributes to the local economy through increased demand for knock-on services such as accommodation, catering and transport."

He went on to say:
“Allowing visitors who have completed a Craft Brewery or Distillery tour to purchase alcohol product on the premises will add to the visitor experience. The Government amendments will ensure appropriate oversight on the sale of alcohol at such premises."

ENDS


Notes for Editors

· The Government amendments will require breweries and distilleries seeking to obtain a retail licence to obtain a court certificate before a new licence is granted by the Revenue Commissioners. They will also provide for annual renewal of such licences. 

· Furthermore, the amendments will confine the sale of intoxicating liquor to visitors who have participated in and completed a guided tour whereas the Bill as published would allow for the sale of intoxicating liquor produced on the premises to visitors who had not participated in a tour of the premises.