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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, David Stanton, has welcomed the Government decision to progress the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 by drafting a series of amendments to this Private Members Bill.

“I was very happy to deal with Second Stage of this Bill on behalf of the Government as I am personally supportive of its objectives. I did, however, note that while the Government was not going to oppose the Bill, amendments were needed in some areas. I am pleased that these have been agreed and the Bill can now be progressed”, said Minister Stanton.

Minister Stanton explained: “The main function of the Bill is to allow micro-breweries to sell their produce on site to visitors and customers. I believe that by allowing visitors to craft breweries and distilleries to purchase the product after the tour that their visitor experience will be greatly enhanced. By enhancing the tourism potential of these facilities, in turn we hope it will also help to create local jobs, not just in the brewery or distillery itself but also in local tourism and service industry in general.

“I have visited some craft breweries, such as Eight Degrees Brewing Company in Mitchelstown, and I have been very impressed not only with quality of their product but also work they are doing to create local employment and to improve sales both nationally and internationally. I hope that this new legislation assists these innovative enterprises in expanding their business.

“The Government amendments will ensure that the same rules that apply to retail licences will also apply to licences granted under this Bill i.e. 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 and the licence will require annual renewal. The amendments will also confine the sale alcohol to visitors who have participated in and completed a tour of the facility and limit sales to between the hours of 10.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.”