Government approves amendment allowing breweries to sell alcohol to touring visitors

The Government has today given the green light to 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 alcohol produced on the premises to visitors at craft breweries and distilleries.

These sales can only take place between 10am and 6pm daily.

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.

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.

Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, TD welcomed the decision.

"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," he said.

"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."

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