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Craft breweries will be allowed sell drink on tours under a new law

Alan Kelly said the the legislation would bring craft breweries into line with the rest of the world.

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Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE CABINET HAS approved amendments to a law that will allow craft breweries sell drink on-site.

The Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 was first proposed by Labour’s Alan Kelly and amendments to it were approved today.

The bill would allow the Revenue Commissioners approve a licence for sale of alcohol at craft breweries and distilleries between 10am and 6pm. The amendments confine the sale of liquor to visitors who have participated in and completed a tour of the premises.

Kelly said the legislation would bring craft breweries into line with the rest of the world.

“I first brought forward the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 back in November, as it was clear from speaking to brewers and producers that this legal anomaly was seriously hampering their ability to capitalise on the growing craft-beer tourism industry, and really deliver for their visitors.

Could you even imagine a situation existing in Italy, France or Spain, where tourists visiting vineyards are prevented from purchasing wine at the end of their tour?

“There has been incredible growth in the craft-beer industry around the world in recent years and Ireland is no different, with an eleven-fold increase in annual turnover since 2011 and microbreweries currently operating in 23 of the 24 counties here.”

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Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said that the legislation would “add to the visitor experience”.

The bill will now be sent to committee stage and work its way through the Oireachtas.

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