Many distilleries and breweries, including micro-breweries, are tourist attractions and welcome visitors on guided tours. Under the Licencing Acts, however, unless the owners acquire a pub licence or an off-licence, it is not possible to sell those visitors the product that is made on the premises.
The purpose of the 2018 Act is to rectify that situation by permitting the sale by distilleries and breweries of their own product to tourists and other visitors. The Act also covers the making of cider and perry.
Where beer is brewed, spirits are distilled or cider or perry is made, in accordance with the appropriate licence, on premises to which visitors are admitted on guided tours, the Revenue Commissioners shall, on application grant a licence under this section.
Such a licence authorises the sale to such visitors of the beer brewed, spirits distilled or the cider or perry made on those premises, but no other intoxicating liquor, for consumption on or off those premises. Sales may take place only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day other than Good Friday or Christmas Day.
A licence holder who sells intoxicating liquor at the premises concerned otherwise than in accordance with that licence is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a Class A fine.
A licence granted under this section revokes any existing licence granted under the Licensing Acts relating to the premises, e.g., a publican’s licence or an off-licence.
Where a person who holds a relevant licence (in this section referred to as “the applicant”) duly gives notice of his or her intention to apply for a licence under this section in respect of a relevant premises and, at the proceedings in relation to the application, the applicant shows to the satisfaction of the Court that—
- a relevant licence is in force in respect of the premises, and
- an appropriate mechanism is in place to restrict the sale pursuant to a licence granted of intoxicating liquor on the premises to persons who have completed a guided tour of the premises,
the Court shall cause a certificate to be granted to the applicant entitling him or her to receive a licence in respect of the relevant premises. This is “producer’s retail licence”.
The Court may refuse the issuing of the licence on the grounds of—
- the character, misconduct or unfitness of the applicant,
- the unfitness or inconvenience of the premises, or
- the unsuitability of the premises for the needs of persons residing in the neighbourhood.
The Revenue Commissioners shall, on application to them being made in that behalf by an applicant and on presentation of a certificate granted issue a producer’s retail licence in respect of the relevant premises concerned.
A licence issued by the Revenue Commissioners shall expire at midnight on the next following 30 September after the commencement of the period to which the licence relates, and may be renewed.
There shall be charged, levied and paid on every licence issued pursuant to this section and on its renewal, a duty of excise of €500.
A licence shall not be issued or renewed by the Revenue Commissioners unless a tax clearance certificate has been issued to the applicant and such tax clearance certificate has not been rescinded at the time of the issue or renewal, as the case may be.
On the issue of a producer’s retail licence in respect of a premises, any other licence issued under the Licensing Acts 1833 to 2018 attached to the premises, other than a relevant licence, shall be extinguished.
Terms of Licence
A licence issued or renewed under this section shall operate to authorise the sale on the premises to which the licence is attached of intoxicating liquor manufactured in accordance with a relevant licence on the premises—
- between the hours of 10. 00 a.m. and 7. 00 p.m. each day other than Christmas Day, for consumption on or off the premises, to persons who have completed a guided tour of the premises, where the certificate has been granted by the Circuit Court,
- between the hours of 10. 00 a.m. and 7. 00 p.m. each day other than Christmas Day, for consumption off the premises, to persons who have completed a guided tour of the premises, where the certificate has been granted by the District Court, or
- between the hours of (i) 10. 00 a.m. and 7. 00 p.m. each day other than Christmas Day and 30 p.m. and 7. 00 p.m. on a Sunday, other than a Christmas Day which falls on a Sunday, and St. Patrick’s Day, for consumption off the premises, to persons who have not completed a guided tour of the premises, where the certificate has been granted by the Circuit Court or the District Court.
A person who sells intoxicating liquor, or who permits the sale of intoxicating liquor, for the sale of which he or she is required to take out a licence under this section, without taking out such a licence, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a Class A fine.
A person who holds a licence issued and who contravenes the terms of the licence or who sells intoxicating liquor, or who permits the sale of intoxicating liquor, otherwise than he or she is authorised by the licence shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a Class A fine.