Manufacturer’s Licence

There’s been a whole host of costs in setting up the brewery. Some very predictable (tanks, rates, grains etc), others not so much (two pumps blew…what are the odds?).

But the one thing that has gnawed at me in setting up the brewery is the manufacturer’s licence. At a time when the agenda in the country is one of growth, jobs and getting the economy moving again it seems those foolhardy souls looking to try something in the manufacture of alcohol must first hand over five hundred smackaroos for the privilege of starting out.

That’s a substantial sum for a startup business. And it produces nothing of value to the consumer (at least for water rates you get water, for commercial rates you get footpaths etc etc). For the manufacturer’s licence you get nada. Zilch. Jack diddly squat. It’s a tax in its purest form and blanket levied regardless of the size of the brewery, whether it’s a startup or not.

For all the government talk about ‘getting the economy going’ it would seem to us, having gone through the process, that there is a world of difference between the hot air from the government benches and the plethora of taxes levied on anything that moves. If there is one positive move they could make to encourage start-ups in the craft brewing sphere, surely removing/reducing the five hundred euro manufacturer’s licence would be solid first step, even for the first year?

Ideally, the tax would be proportional to the size of the brewery. Full scale millions of pints per year? Sure, that’ll be five hundred please. Producing 50 pints a week for the family pub in rural Ireland? That will be one euro please.