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CAMRA calls on election candidates to support brewers and beer drinkers

PRESS RELEASE

 

For Immediate Release: 15 February 2017

 

CAMRA calls on election candidates to support brewers and beer drinkers

 

Ahead of the snap election on the 2nd March, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is urging Northern Ireland Assembly candidates to commit to supporting brewers and beer drinkers.

 

CAMRA has been working with a number of MLAs and a coalition of brewers to modernise the licensing laws so that brewers can "sell at source". This would give brewers the flexibility to sell their product online and directly from the brewery, as well as apply for occasional licences to sell at local events. The proposal has so far secured widespread support throughout the industry and across political parties, including the Committee for Communities in the previous Assembly.

 

Under the current laws, cider producers and brewers in Northern Ireland can only sell their products to outlets such as pubs, which is highly competitive as many are locked into contracts with global brewers which exclude local brews.

 

CAMRA is asking election candidates to commit to re-introducing the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill to ensure that these reforms are not forgotten in the new Assembly and brewers and cider makers are not disadvantaged under a new government.

 

Clive Talbot, Chair of CAMRA's Northern Ireland branch says: "It has been absolutely fantastic to witness local brewers and cider producers here in Northern Ireland rally together to modernise the licensing laws to support growth and investment here. These proposals did secure cross party support in the last Assembly and it would be a real shame if all of this hard work is lost.

 

Our local breweries and cider producers are at a huge disadvantage compared to those in the rest of the UK (and soon also in the Republic of Ireland) because these outdated restrictions prevent them from selling their product anywhere besides pubs – many of which are locked into contracts with global brewers.

 

Modernisation is essential. It will give our local producers more opportunity to promote local beers and ciders and more of a chance to compete with the big brands."

 

Ends

 

Notes to editors

 

Election candidates can pledge their support at http://www.camra.org.uk/campaigning-in-northern-ireland

 

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