Irish microbreweries made €52m in turnover in 2016, report says

Number of microbreweries quadrupled in past six years, says drinks industry group

The number of breweries and distilleries across Ireland has grown exponentially over the past number of years. Photograph: iStock

The number of breweries and distilleries across Ireland has grown exponentially over the past number of years. Photograph: iStock

 

Turnover at the growing number of Irish microbreweries increased to €52 million in 2016 from just €8 million in 2012, according to figures from the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).

In a report on innovation and entrepreneurship, DIGI found that the number of breweries producing their own product more than quadrupled in the past six years, with rural Ireland experiencing the majority of the growth.

Since 2012 the number of breweries in the Republic has increased from 15 to 72, with 90 per cent of them located outside of Dublin. Cork has the largest percentage share at 14 per cent, according to the report, which was compiled by DCU economist Anthony Foley.

The number of whiskey distilleries in the country has also grown, from four in 2013 to 18 in 2017 with an additional 16 facilities in planning phase.

Output

Ireland’s gin sector, too, is planning to increase output by trebling exports to 400,000 nine-litre cases by 2022.

“In rural Ireland in particular, where less developed infrastructure inhibits the creation of high-tech jobs, the drinks industry has provided a way for smaller communities to support economic activity, innovation and entrepreneurship,” DIGI secretary Donall O’Keeffe said.

“If the drinks industry is to flourish into the future, it needs as few barriers to trade as possible,” he added.

Calling for a reduction in the excise on alcohol, Mr O’Keeffe said export development must be supported by a strong market at home. That would be helped, he believes, by reducing taxation on wine, beer and spirits.

DIGI is the umbrella organisation for the wider drinks and hospitality industry in Ireland. It says the industry produces about €1.25 billion worth of exports and employs 92,000 people.