New bill to help Irish whiskey tourism to reach target of 1.9 million visitor

Thursday, 23 March 2017


The Irish Whiskey Association today welcomes the passage of the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 through the next stage in the Oireachtas.

The legislation, proposed by Labour TD Alan Kelly, will allow breweries and distilleries to sell products which are distilled or brewed on their premises without the requirement to have a full bar licence.

“In 2013, there were just four distilleries in operation, now there are sixteen. Furthermore, there are another 14 with planning permission. All of these projects stand to benefit from this Bill,” said Miriam Mooney, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association.

“This Bill is important for the future of Irish whiskey tourism. The current licensing laws mean that distilleries cannot offer visitors the opportunity to sample their product without having a full bar licence. The provisions of this Bill will remove the current licensing requirements and therefore allow new entrants and Irish whiskey tourism to flourish.

Under the proposed legislation, distilleries offering guided tours will be able to apply for licences allowing them to sell their produce between the hours of 10am and 6pm.

“Whiskey tourism is growing rapidly, and we are aiming to increase the number of visitors from 650,000 to 1.9 million by 2025. With the right approach, we could increase these numbers even further, expand the Irish whiskey sector and deliver gains for the tourism industry.”

“Those 1.9 million visitors will spend an estimated €1.3 billion during their stay, spending that will be spread throughout all regions, supporting jobs and bringing benefits to local communities.”

“Allowing visitors to purchase Irish whiskey at distilleries won’t just enhance the distillery experience, it will also help to grow exports of what is now the fastest growing spirit in the world,” Ms. Mooney added.