The fall is a result of the closure of the hospitality industry, but is also in line with the long-term trend of consumption decline in Ireland, according to Drinks Ireland.
The figures show that beer consumption was down by nearly 15% with cider consumption down by 13%. Typically, around 60% of beer sales and 45% of cider sales are in pubs, restaurants and hotels.
The Revenue Commissioners recorded a 17.3% drop in the tax take on beer – from €174.2 million in H1 2020 to €144.0 million in H1 2021. February was the lowest month for tax take on beer and cider in the first half of this year at €9.2 million and €1.8 million respectively.
Consumption was down across all categories, with wine consumption down by 11.5% and spirits down by 0.3%.
The figures confirm that alcohol consumption declined dramatically as a result of Covid-19. The figures from the first half of 2021 are down by 14.1% compared with the same period in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
“While the decline in alcohol consumption was accelerated by Covid-19, it should be noted that it’s in line with the trend of consumption falling generally in Ireland over the past 30 years,” commented Drinks Ireland Director Patricia Callan, “Average alcohol consumption in 2020 was 29.8% lower than the peak of 2001. Overall, alcohol consumption declined last year by 6.6% to its lowest level in 30 years.”