Minister Flanagan signs the Commencement Order for  Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Act 2018

 

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, this afternoon signed the Commencement Order for the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Act 2018.

The principal purpose of the Act is to create a new retail licence that will allow craft breweries and distilleries to sell, between the hours of 10.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. intoxicating liquor manufactured on the premises to tourists and visitors who have participated in a guided tour of the premises. It also allows premises that obtain a relevant licence to sell intoxicating liquor produced on the premises to members of the public for consumption off the premises between the hours of 10.00 a.m. and  7.00 p.m. (12.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. on Sundays).

 

Speaking following the commencement of the Act, the Minister said,

“I am delighted to announce the commencement of the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Act 2018. We have seen a marked increase in the number of craft breweries and distilleries in recent years, and this trend is set to continue. This is a dynamic and entrepreneurial sector with real growth potential. It goes without saying that this Government is fully committed to promoting regional and local development and, in that context, to fully supporting the job-creation potential of artisan food production and local tourism initiatives.  

 

Some craft breweries and distilleries already admit tourists and visitors for guided tours of their premises. This not only serves to increase tourism activity in local areas but also create local employment opportunities. It also contributes to economic activity by generating demand for ancillary services such as accommodation, catering and transport.  Having completed a tour of such premises it is only natural that tourists and visitors may wish to purchase some of the intoxicating liquor products being produced. This Act will facilitate the sale of intoxicating liquor produced on the premises to such tourists and visitors.”

 

Note for the Editor

The Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 was introduced as a Private Members Bill by Deputy Alan Kelly and supported by the Government. It passed all stages in the Oireachtas in July and was signed into law by the President on 22 July.  The Act provides that a person who already holds a relevant manufacturer’s licence – namely a brewer of beer for sale licence; a distiller of spirits licence; a maker of cider or perry for sale licence; a maker for sale of sweets licence or a rectifier or compounder of spirits licence – may apply to the Circuit or District Court for a certificate entitling him or her to receive a retail licence from the Revenue Commissioners. The Revenue Commissioners have indicated that there are about 165 manufacturers licences at present. 

Some breweries and distilleries admit tourists and visitors for guided tours of their premises. Their manufacturers licences do not permit them to sell intoxicating liquor to such visitors. Some of the larger breweries and distilleries have already obtained public house licenses, which enable them to sell alcohol products, including those produced on the premises, to visitors. For smaller craft brewers or distillers, that may not be an option, not least because of the outlays required to extinguish an existing public house licence. The purpose of the Act, is to cater for their needs. The Act also allows premises that obtain a relevant licence to sell intoxicating liquor produced on the premises for consumption off the premises to persons who have not completed a guided tour. 

The licence allows breweries and distilleries to sell, between the hours of 10.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m. each day other than Christmas Day, intoxicating liquor manufactured on the premises to tourists and visitors who have participated in a guided tour of the premises. It also allows premises that obtain a relevant licence to sell intoxicating liquor produced on the premises to members of the public for consumption off the premises between the hours of 10.00 a.m. and  7.00 p.m. other than Christmas Day (12.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. on Sundays and St Patrick’s Day).