The Irish Brewers Association Welcome New Bill On Brewery Tourism
The Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has welcomed the Labour party’s move to put down the Breweries and Distilleries Bill in a private members motion in the Dáil tonight (23 March).
The bill, which was introduced in November 2016 by Alan Kelly, TD, would remove a significant regulatory barrier for the growing market of breweries, microbreweries, cider makers and distilleries all around the country. If passed, it will enable these businesses to sell their own produce to tourists and other visitors on site, which is not the case under current licensing laws.
Ireland's drinks and hospitality sectors have shown robust growth in recent years, supporting over 200,000 jobs in these sectors, with an annual wage bill of €4 billion as well as purchases of over 200,000 tonnes of Irish grain every year. The craft-beer industry has shown an eleven-fold increase in annual turnover since 2011, and a 29 per cent jump in the number of microbreweries operating across the country from 2015 to 2016. With an estimated annual turnover of €59 million, the sector employs 831 directly and indirectly across the 90 breweries around the state.
Chairman of the IBA, Seamus O’Hara, commented: “We’re delighted to see any move that removes barriers to growth and supports an industry that’s growing and sustaining jobs up and down the country. Ireland’s craft brewers have worked closely with the Labour party and our sectoral allies to promote the potential this bill could have. We now have a level playing field where small breweries setting up can compete and grow. But also for rural Ireland it offers, quality tourist attractions which are unique to their area."