This year saw a 6% increase in the number of people who visited breweries and distilleries in the Dublin area.
Visitor centres are now common place in the more established breweries and distilleries in Ireland.
The visitor centre provides an additional revenue stream for producers and provides the opportunity of a unique brand experience for visitors.
However, Irish liquor licensing laws have prevented many small producers from creating a visitor experience due to the expense of the required retail licences. However, the recent enactment of the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Act 2018 ("the Act") on 22 July 2018, may change this.
To serve beer or spirits to visitors of a brewery or distillery, producers would typically apply for a Publican's On-Licence which would permit the operation of a full bar in a visitor centre. This application requires a court certificate and securing an existing Publican's On-Licence for extinguishment which costs approximately €50,000 - €60,000. This level of investment was simply unaffordable for many of the smaller producers.
My previous post examines the new Act and whether it provides a solution to this issue.
The Act offers a liquor licence for breweries and distilleries in Ireland which will allow them to sell alcohol to visitors of their premises. The Bill was signed into law on 22 July 2018 and will come into operation on the signing of a Commencement Order by the Minister for Justice and Equality which is expected to be done in the next 2-3 months.
The granting of the 'new' licence provided by the Act will require a court certificate, meaning an application must be made in the District Court or Circuit Court. The licence will permit trade until 7.00pm and sales of alcohol produced on site only.
The new licence provided by the Act will be far less flexible than a Publican's On-Licence but will be far less expensive to obtain. It will be limited in its application but may prove to be adequate for smaller breweries and distilleries in Ireland that wish to provide a boutique visitor experience for tourists and locals alike.
For more information on liquor licensing please feel free to contact me.
More than 2.5 million people visited brewery and distillery tourist attractions in Dublin last year.