AS lockdown continues to leave pubs closed, the Limerick Leader has learned that deliveries of draught beer are being made to homes in the county.
Although pubs will not be allowed open until August 10, it emerged at the weekend bars are allowed to sell take-away pints, so long as payment is taken on site, alcohol consumed over 100 metres away from the premises, and not in a public place.
It’s because of a “lack of clarity” in the licensing laws.
In the wake of this, it’s emerged deliveries of freshly poured pints are being delivered in a red van to homes in the Askeaton and Foynes area.
One person who availed of a pint said: “It’s a great service. He charges €5 for a pint of Guinness which is fair enough as he added costs of travel and has to bring someone with him.”
“As far as I’m aware, he’s not breaking any laws. He has an outdoor catering license as well as a bar one. We would be lost without it. It’s great,” said the customer, who wished not to be identified.
However, two city publicans have said it would be difficult for them to do deliveries like this as breweries are not currently delivering beer in kegs at present.
Cathal Callanan, who co-runs the Glen Tavern in Lower Glentworth Street said: “It’s not viable. We haven’t the product anyway, so we can’t deliver it. Everyone else in the city would have had their delivery within the two weeks [of closure]. Most people’s Guinness would have gone off around April 20. The Heineken would be around the same time. The only thing perhaps in date would be the cider.”
Kegs of beer cannot even be purchased in cash and carry outlets, he added.
Councillor Jerry O’Dea, who is the local Vintners Federation of Ireland spokesperson, and runs his family pub in Mulgrave Street said apart from the novelty value, he couldn’t see any benefit to the publican in offering this service.
”As it stands, we’ve returned all our beer to the brewery. So it’s not something personally we’d be getting involved in. In terms of it being a viable business, it wouldn’t be practical. The amount of work going into it wouldn’t justify the returns,” Cllr O’Dea told the Limerick Leader.
”It’s a lot of work to provide a few pints, which would probably spill along the way. In terms of the opportunity, I don’t think it’s there,” the councillor added.
A garda spokesperson said it “continues in line with its graduated policing response to engage with licensed premises offering a delivery service to ensure compliance with public health regulations introduced by the Minister for Health and pre-existing legislation.”