A new bill would see alcohol sold on brewery and distillery tours
The Government has agreed to move a bill forward, which would allow craft breweries to sell their products to visitors.
The Intoxicating Liquor (Breweries and Distilleries) Bill 2016 from the Labour Party provides for an automatic grant of a licence to sell liquor produced on premises to visitors at craft breweries and distilleries.
But the Government wants to see amendments to the bill first.
It wants to make sure the rules that normally apply to retail licences will apply to licences given under this bill.
This will mean operators of craft breweries and distilleries will have to apply to the court for a certificate before a licence can be granted.
The licence will also be subject to annual renewal.
And the amendments would also mean liquor would only be sold to brewery and distillery visitors who have completed a tour of the premises.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said: "The Government is fully committed to supporting regional and local development and fully exploiting the job-creation potential of artisan food production and local tourism initiatives.
"As was once the case many years ago, nearly every town now has its own craft brewery - such as 12 Acres and Ballykilcavan Brew in my own town of Portlaoise.
"Some craft breweries and distilleries admit visitors for guided tours of their premises, which attracts tourists to the area and creates local employment opportunities.
"This also contributes to the local economy through increased demand for knock-on services such as accommodation, catering and transport."
Additional reporting: Gavan Reilly