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Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Irish Drinks News

By Dave Simpson

Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Irish drinks news.

Minister For Justice Launches Public Consultation On Reform Of Alcohol Licensing Laws

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has launched a public consultation on the reform of alcohol licensing laws.

A statement published on gov.ie said, "The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD, has today opened a public consultation to seek the views of the public on the modernisation of Ireland’s licencing laws through the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill.

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"The consultation will look at how best to update the existing laws governing the sale and regulation of alcohol in Ireland, in line with commitments made in Justice Plan 2021.

"The Minister acknowledges that the hospitality industry has been the hardest hit by the pandemic with restrictions still in place for many businesses.

"However, the Minister is firmly of the view that planning for life after the pandemic requires continuing work to reform Ireland's antiquated licencing laws.

"She intends to enact ambitious licencing reform by the end of 2022 and is now seeking the views of stakeholders and the wider public as work on this reform accelerates in the Department of Justice.

"Launching the consultation, Minister McEntee said, 'Our pubs, restaurants and nightclubs have experienced huge challenges as we continue to grapple with COVID-19 and the devastating effect it has had on our society and economy.

"'I know many of these businesses are still struggling but it is hugely important that we prepare for life after the pandemic.

"'I am committed to enacting alcohol licensing laws that reflect the changing expectations and lifestyles of 21st century Ireland.

"'We must take a range of views into account and the interests of public health, consumers and communities will be central to these reforms, which will be developed with a supportive approach to businesses.

"'Any changes in alcohol licensing laws will be balanced with the need for regulation in the public interest - in particular public health and public order.'

"Setting out what she hopes to achieve with this consultation, the Minister said her department will strongly consider input from the public when developing this legislation:

"'I want to hear from stakeholders and members of the public on a range of issues including nightclub and late bar opening hours, trading hours - and whether we need greater regulation of online and delivery sales.

"'We have also seen many innovations during the pandemic, such as the extension of outdoor dining and I would like to hear the public views on how we can build on these changes.

"'All responses from the public will be reviewed by my department to help consider how best to reform our licensing laws.

"'We will also consider any relevant evidence that members of the public may wish to submit in relation to the impact of current or proposed licensing laws.

"'Overall, the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill will update and streamline existing alcohol licensing laws into a single Act, making it accessible and user-friendly for the licensed trade, courts, Gardaí and the public.'

"Legislation governing the sale, supply and consumption of intoxicating alcohol in licensed premises are set out in the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2018 and in the Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 2008.

"The objective of the proposed Sale of Alcohol Bill is to repeal the Licensing Acts and the Registration of Clubs Acts and to replace them with updated and streamlined provisions more suited to the 21st century.

"It is also the intention to repeal the Public Dance Hall Act 1935.

"This consultation will be open from today, 25 November 2021, to close of business on 21 January 2022. Interested individuals, groups and organisations may complete the online survey."

Irish Distillers Announces Redevelopment Of Distillery Experience And Visitor Attraction

Irish Distillers has announced a redevelopment of its distillery experience and visitor attraction in Midleton, Co. Cork.

A statement published on irishdistillers.ie said, "Irish Distillers today announces details of a €13 million investment plan which will see the redevelopment of its distillery experience at Midleton Distillery, Co. Cork, transforming the attraction into a world-class whiskey destination.

"Midleton Distillery is the beating heart of Irish whiskey and home to some of the world's most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, including Jameson, Powers, Redbreast, Midleton Very Rare, the Spot family and Method and Madness, as well as the Irish Whiskey Academy, Irish Distillers’ Archive and the Micro Distillery.

"As part of the plan, the existing attraction will be completely transformed to accommodate new and interactive whiskey tours and various tasting experiences, offering visitors the opportunity to explore more about the past, present and future of Irish whiskey production at Midleton Distillery. The redevelopment will also deliver state-of-the-art new shopping, bar, café and restaurant facilities.

"In order to ensure that visitors receive the same great experience while construction is ongoing, an alternative purpose-built Irish whiskey attraction will continue to welcome visitors during the redevelopment. Construction will commence immediately and is expected be completed by 2025, in time to mark the 200-year anniversary of Midleton Distillery.

"Commenting on the plan, Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO, said, 'Over the past 30 years, Midleton Distillery has become synonymous with Irish whiskey tourism, welcoming more than three million visitors from countries all over the world to our home in East Cork. At Irish Distillers, we are always looking towards the future of Irish whiskey, which is why we are delighted to announce our plans for the redevelopment of the distillery experience at Midleton. Our ambition is to deliver an exceptional, world-class experiential offering which will bring whiskey lovers closer to the production process than ever before.

"'These exciting plans will ensure that the distillery experience offers visitors a unique insight into the whiskeys produced at Midleton Distillery in exceptionally beautiful and engaging surroundings. We are confident that we can further build upon the appeal of Midleton Distillery for both domestic and international visitors, cementing its position as one of the top tourism attractions in Ireland while supporting jobs and economic growth in the East Cork region.'

"'As we are committed to preserving and maintaining the beauty of the original distillery buildings, many of which date back to 1794, our redevelopment plan is centred around the conservation and restoration of existing structures, while transforming our visitor attraction to accommodate new and interactive whiskey tours and exciting tasting experiences. The redevelopment will therefore marry the old and the new, making improvements and upgrades to preserve the fabric of these buildings, all of which will ultimately contribute to an immersive and unique visitor experience,' he concluded.

"Every element of the redevelopment has been planned with sustainability and efficiency in mind. The new visitor experience will feature a specially designed heat recovery system, meaning that excess energy from the production of world-renowned Irish whiskeys onsite in Midleton will be used to heat the buildings.

"The introduction of the heat recovery system is predicted to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 200,000 KGs of CO2 per year, in line with Irish Distillers’ sustainability goals. Additionally, the switch to LED lighting throughout - close to 1,000 bulbs - will ensure a reduction in electricity consumption of +90 percent compared to existing usage.

"New York headquartered Ralph Appelbaum Associates, who have specialist experience in the planning and design of cultural attractions around the world, will lead the design of the redevelopment project.

"PJ Hegarty & Sons have been appointed as conservation and construction contractor, commenting, 'PJ Hegarty & Sons are delighted to be appointed as contractor to undertake this prestigious project on behalf of Irish Distillers and we look forward to working closely with the team in Midleton to deliver their vision.'"

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Enjoy a FREE Digital Subscription