Beer production on the rise as off-trade sales increase
New report also shows consumption edging up as non-alcoholic beer makes a splash
Most beer is still drunk in bars but off-trade sales rose to 36.5 per cent last year
Despite an overall fall in consumption of alcohol in recent years beer sales are on the rise, a new report shows.
The Irish Brewers Association annual report shows production increased by 3.8 per cent last year to 8.3 million hectolitres from just over eight million hectolitres a year earlier.
The move comes as sales rose 3 per cent and consumption edged up marginally.
Beer remains the most popular alcoholic drink in the State with 45 per cent market share. Of this, lager is the favourite brew with a 63.8 per cent market share, followed by stout at 29.3 per cent and other ales at 6.3 per cent.
Non-alcoholic beer made a splash for the first time in the market last year and now has a 0.6 per cent share. Overall, sales of low and non-alcoholic beer jumped by 60 per cent in the Republic between 2017 and 2018, to 30,000 hectolitres.
The most recent data on craft beer sales shows an increase by 6.7 per cent, from 119,000 hectolitres in 2016 to 127,000 hectolitres a year later. This marks an increase of 57 per cent from the 2014 sales figure of 54,000 hectolitres.
Off sales up
Most beer is still drunk in bars but off-trade sales rose to 36.5 per cent from 35.2 per cent last year.
Brewers paid €430 million in excise duty in 2018, with 29 per cent of the price of every pint going to the Government in tax.
The value of beer exports fell to €268 million from last year, but the Republic remains the seventh-largest exporter in the European Union.
According to the association, more than 1,000 people are directly employed in the sector.
“Ireland’s beer sector continues to perform strongly, as a result of a constant focus on innovation and creativity by brewers both large and small. This is illustrated by growth in the craft beer sector since 2014 and the plethora of new products on the market in recent years,” said association head Jonathan McDade.