03.12.2019 Come Gather Round People. Northern Irish Licensing Consultation
Our Licensing Laws are old as FU*K
We're not allowed to sell our own beer at our own brewery ourselves (Occasional Licenses, which allow us to have the odd Taproom, is kind of fine as a temporary stop gap).
We knew what the deal was when we opened 5 years ago.
So we’ve not said too much about it.
But now is the time.
The Department of Communities have offered a public consultation on Alcohol Licensing in NI.
So we’d love you to help us begin to change the Law.
We don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to ask to sell our own product on our own premises. For on site consumption, or for take away.
If you’re wanting to help, and see some world class beer more available where it is brewed, then here’s what you need to to:
- We’ll tell you what we think, below. It’s now up to you to respond to the Consultation either online or via email.
- When it comes to public consultations, the best approach is not a copy and paste job. It’s the easiest way but it’s not the most helpful. The best thing you can do is to use your own words. We’ll give you some talking points, buzzwords, etc. Use those (below), rework, rephrase, whatever. Send them in to one of the links above. It doesn’t have to be a novel. A couple of sentences would be awesome.
- Reply to one of the above links by 6th of December. You’re replying as an individual. Boundary will issue our own response.
So what do we think?
We’re interested in Question 1, 'Do you think the current 12 categories of licence are adequate?’
The answer is ’No, there are not enough’.
- Current categories are insufficient; don’t currently support local businesses and consumers in the beer, cider and pubs sectors.
- Local breweries and cideries cannot sell their products in the vast majority of pubs, as happens in GB. That's a very long story for another time.
- Need other routes to market with no ability to sell products directly from shops or taprooms.
Suggestion: addition of a producers license
- For bona fide producers of beer, cider and other alcoholic drinks in NI.
- Must be affordable; vast majority of local brewers cannot afford price of applying for full premises license.
- Should not be subject to the ‘surrender principle.’
Producers license would allow brewers to:
- Sell their own produce at source on their premises
- Run and take payment for brewery tours
- Sell products online
- Apply for occasional licenses to sell at other events: markets, etc.
Benefits of a producers license:
- Increased business sustainability
- Levels playing field for brewers and cider makers
- Boosts NI’s tourism sector
- Better access to high quality, local beer and ciders for consumers
Republic of Ireland
- Introduced a new category just to cover brewery tours.
- This is insufficient to address the challenges that small, local brewers.
- Insufficiency demonstrated by fact that zero breweries have applied for one.
England, Scotland, Wales
- Don’t face such restrictions
- Able to grow businesses and improve the availability of their produce through:
- Tap rooms
- After brewery tours
- Local markets and events
- NI’s 43 breweries, 8 cideries and 15 distilleries should be able to compete on level playing field.
- Currently, comparable businesses in GB are able to expand at a rate impossible to reach for those under NI licensing restrictions NI consumers can order beer online from GB, but cannot buy local produce
So please join us in allowing us the same rights as other Breweries in England, Scotland and Wales (and most of the rest of the entire world).
Any questions, please get in touch.