New Producer’s Retail Licence for Distillery Granted by the Circuit Court 18 July 2019

Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Act 2018

Good news for breweries, distilleries and cider makers. The Dublin Circuit Court has granted its first Producer’s Licence in accordance with the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Act 2018.

Up to now, breweries and distilleries had to have a publican’s licence to allow them sell the alcohol they manufacture to visitors, but the significant cost associated with obtaining a publican’s licence proved to be an unattractive option for microbreweries and small distilleries wishing to just sell their own product.

Compton Solicitors have successfully obtained a declaratory order for a Producers Retail Licence from the Licensing Court in Dublin for one of the Ireland’s newest distilleries, Inch Distillery located in the heart of Inchicore.

1. What does this mean for alcohol manufacturers?

The Act allows breweries, distilleries and cider makers and other relevant licence holders to apply to:

1) the District Court for a licence to sell the alcohol they manufacture off the premises; or

2) the Circuit Court for a licence to sell such alcohol on or off the premises.

2. What is a “Relevant Licence”

A relevant licence under that Act is any of the following:

• a brewer of beer for sale licence
• a distiller of spirits licence
• a maker of cider or perry for sale licence
• a maker for sale of sweets licence, or
• a rectifier or compounder of spirits licence.

3. When can you sell/serve alcohol?

Alcohol manufactured on the premises can be sold for consumption on/off the premises to persons who have completed a guided tour during the following hours:

Monday – Sunday: 10am to 7.00pm
Christmas Day: Trading prohibited

Alcohol manufactured on the premises can be sold off the premises to anyone during the following hours:

Monday – Saturday: 10am to 7.00pm
Sunday: 12.30pm to 7.00pm
Patrick’s Day: 12.30pm to 7.00pm
Christmas Day: Trading prohibited

4. What restrictions are there with these Licences?

Only alcohol manufactured on the premises can sold for consumption on the premises during the restricted hours of 10:00am to 7:00pm to persons who have completed a “guided tour” of the premises.

A “Guided tour” is defined as an explanation of or information relating to the process whereby the alcohol is manufactured on the premises. It must be carried out in person whether the tour is guided by another person or not and it requires a ticket to be issued to the person participating in the tour. The ticket may be given for free or may be charged for.

5. Can you have another licence on the premises at the same time as the Producers Retail Licence?

You may only hold a manufacturing licence in conjunction with a producer’s retail licence. If you are granted a Producers Retail Licence all other licences held on the premises will be extinguished. This will have ramifications for Breweries and Distilleries who hold a wine licence and operate restaurants.

6. How do you apply for a new Producers Retail Licence?

An application for off sales only can be made to the District Court in your area.

When applying for a licence to sell on and off the premises, the application must be made to your local Circuit Court.

In line with other Alcohol Licence applications the Court will require evidence as to the planning, fire safety and suitability of the premises and evidence of the character of fitness of the Applicant for the licence.

7. Can you find out in advance the Court will approve the grant of a Producer’s Retail Licence before you carry out expensive works?

You can ascertain from the Court if they will approve the application before carrying out the works. It is called a Declaratory Procedure and is available to establish whether the Court will grant the Producer’s Retail Licence.

A Producers Retail Licence may be of particular interest to craft breweries and small distilleries who may not have been able to finance a publican’s licence.

Please contact Lorraine Compton or Fiona Tonge for an assessment as to your premises ability to achieve a Beer Brewers Licence, Spirit Distillers Licence or Cider Makers Licence.

Why choose us?

Liquor Licensing is a complex and multi-faceted process.
We pride ourselves on providing a simple, non-technical road map with a speedy timeline for completion of the project. Along the way, we will liaise directly with architects and accountants to leave you free to concentrate on your business.

See Liquor Licensing main page

This document is intended to provide a general overview and guidance on a particular topic. It is provided wholly without any liability or responsibility on the part of Compton Solicitors and does not replace the necessity to obtain specific legal advice.

For more information contact:

Lorraine Compton
T: +353 86 253 4651
E: lorraine.compton@comptonsolicitors.ie

Fiona Tonge
T: +353 89 471 4128
E: fiona.tonge@comptonsolicitors.ie

© Compton Solicitors 2019