Press Release

29/04/2019

Northern Ireland breweries need support year round – not just for the golf

CAMRA calls for more extensive reform as civil servants consider supporting pubs and breweries for just special events such as the Open golf tournament in July

As Northern Ireland’s civil servants consider changing the law about the sale of alcohol during special events such as the upcoming Open golf tournament at Portrush in July, consumer group Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling for more radical changes to support Northern Ireland’s breweries and pub scene.

The Campaign says that if the law is going to be changed then rules on serving alcohol must be brought into the 21st century for locals and tourists alike all year round – not just during the Open.

CAMRA wants to see local breweries and cider makers be able to serve their produce in tap rooms on their premises, at brewery tours and at local events and markets to help promote their products.

This would give locals and tourists alike more opportunities to enjoy beer and cider produced in Northern Ireland and help those businesses grow.

CAMRA Director for Northern Ireland Sarah Crawford said: “Northern Ireland’s licensing laws mean that businesses, pub goers and tourists are at more of a disadvantage than anywhere else across these islands.

“Extending licensing hours and allowing breweries to sell local beers at special events is welcome – but this should be allowed all year round, not just at the Open.

“That’s why we are calling on the Secretary of State to widen the proposals to allow pubs to stay open for longer and to better support the beer and cider industries in Northern Ireland so that locals and tourists alike can access tasty and distinctive local brews.”

Notes to editors:

CAMRA is a consumer group which campaigns on behalf of beer drinkers and pub goers throughout the UK. In Northern Ireland there are over 400 CAMRA members with a strong record of campaigning for quality real ale, community pubs and the rights of pub-goers and real ale drinkers.

There are currently over 1200 pubs and 25 breweries in Northern Ireland which are an integral part of local communities as well as being key to the economy in the tourism sector.

The Department for Communities is consulting on amending licensing laws during designated special events. Their consultation is open until 3rd May and is available here: https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/consultations/sale-and-supply-alcoholic-drinks-special-events-northern-ireland

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