Craft brewers & distillers hampered by lockdown restrictions
Stephen Kelly, chief executive, Manufacturing NI.
Craft brewers, distillers and cider makers are being unfairly hindered and disadvantaged with off licence sales ending at 8pm and pubs without designated off-sales unable to convert during lockdown, says Manufacturing NI.
The organisation has said that an urgent review of the two prohibitive measures should be expedited to allow craft manufacturers an opportunity to compete against trade going directly to multiple retailers at a time when they need it the most.
“Our craft brewers, distilleries and cideries are some of the most celebrated parts of our local food and drink scene, but the closure of their route to market through our pubs and restaurants has put them in jeopardy,” said Stephen Kelly, chief executive, Manufacturing NI.
“If there are no pubs to sell local craft products, a curfew time in local off-licences and now that pubs without designated off-sales have had to cease trading, how does the NI Executive think these producers are going to survive?
“The Executive has said that it will do all it can to help, so we must now call on them to lift the ban on local pub off-sales and scrap the curfew for local off-licences so that some level of sales can be achieved and make a real difference for the craft breweries, distillers and cideries.”