Our taproom usually operates on the last weekend of the month. The normal hours are Friday 4-11pm, Saturday 2-11pm. We have 10 taps of the freshest draught beer in Belfast, usually including a couple of guest taps from breweries across the UK and Ireland.
We also have a small selection of wine and some soft drinks. Where possible, we also bring in some alcohol free beer.
We’re dog friendly, child friendly until 9pm, and we have rotating food trucks that come to serve up some delicious grub.
Why do we not have a permanent taproom?
We’ve been the leading voice in updating Northern Ireland’s licensing laws and have lobbied for the past 5 years. Our MD Willy also sits on the board of the Society of Independent Brewers, specifically to advocate for further licensing reform and to keep pressure on Stormont and the Department for Communities.
It is currently illegal for breweries to sell alcohol directly to the public in Northern Ireland, either to consume on-site or for consumption off-site. It’s illegal for us to charge for tours which include a sample. That’s why we don’t currently facilitate tours.
The only way we can currently operate our taproom is by borrowing a pub license and applying to the County Court each and every time. It includes sitting through a two hour hearing to prove to a Judge that the sale of alcohol is ancillary to the event before learning our fate.
But what about this new Taproom legislation passed at Stormont?
In 2021, after 5 years of lobbying, Stormont agreed to create a new category of license specifically for local producers. Once introduced, it will allow breweries to open small gift shops to the public for off-sales, and will allow us to operate taprooms on 108 occasions per year, from 4pm-10pm.
The Department for Communities initially were aiming for the new legislation to come into effect in April 2022, but as of late 2021 they are refusing to meet to explain how the application process will be administered.
In June 2021, we successfully obtained a full pub license for premises at 442-446 Newtownards Road, East Belfast. We’re going to be open in and around Christmas (most likely January at this stage), in what was one of the first licenses to be moved into Belfast in over 30 years. We’ve talked at length about NI’s licensing laws on beer podcasts, such as Hop Forward as well as our pals at Beer Fridge Podcast. We're also regular contributors on NI's licensing laws to the likes of BBC Good Morning Ulster, BBC Newsline, Belfast Live, the Newsletter, the Irish News and the Belfast Telegraph, as well as global beer sites such as Good Beer Hunting.
Once the bar opens, expect 20 taps of draught beer and a great selection of wine and spirits.