The independent beer consumer organisation Beoir has requested that craft beer and cider producers be allowed sell their produce from their breweries and at local authority-approved farmers’ markets as is this norm in many other countries.
The submission also calls for a change to the bond which the Revenue Commissioners require every new brewery to hold in case of excise default.
"The bond is a major barrier to entry for artisan drinks producers," commented Beoir Chairman Séan Billings, "In Northern Ireland it has been increasingly replaced by the payment of excise duty by direct debit, a method which secures the revenue income for the Exchequer without crippling start-up breweries before they’ve even made their first batch. We would like to see something similar here."
He added that craft beer and cider has the potential to be a major driver for economic growth in Ireland, especially in the all-important tourism and export sectors.
"All it would take is for the Government to honour some pre-existing commitments to support
artisan producers and SMEs. As a consumer, I’d like a greater opportunity to sample the products that we produce so well in this country and that we have every right to be proud of."
There are 14 microbreweries currently in production here.