The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI ) has welcomed news that Lough Mask Distillery in Mayo has become the first distillery in Ireland to be granted a licence to sell its gin, vodka and whiskey, to members of the public on its premises under the Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries ) Act 2018.
The Breweries and Distilleries Act, which was passed in July, means that craft brewers and distillers can sell their products on site to visitors, without the need to acquire a full licence.
Lough Mask Distillery, which is based in the Tourmakeady Gaeltacht, on the shores of Lough Mask in the foothills of the Partry Mountains, commenced operation in July this year. The distillery gets many visitors who, until now, have not been able to purchase any of the products the distillery makes on its site when they visit.
Patricia Callan, Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI ) said: "Brewery and distillery visitor centres are important for Ireland’s tourism offer and are particularly vital for driving tourists to rural counties. The Breweries and Distilleries Act, which we successfully campaigned on, supports Ireland’s brewery and distillery visitor centres, which continue to go from strength to strength.
"Last year, there were 2,590,215 visitors to brewery and distillery tourist attractions in Ireland, up from 2,437,206 in 2016. We are now working with our members to help them understand the implications of the legislation and guide them through the process of allowing them to sell their products on site."