Revenue Clearance figures for the January to March period this year show that beer sales were the hardest hit, down by 34.5% to 2.3 million litres of alcohol from 3.5 million in Q1 2020, while cider sales saw a substantial fall of 15.9%.
Around 60% of beer sales and 45% of cider sales take place in pubs, restaurants and hotels around the country, according to Drinks Ireland, which represents Ireland’s drinks manufactures and suppliers.
The fall in sales was recorded across all categories, with Revenue figures showing that spirits sales fell by 8.2% and wine sales by 3.4%.
Irish hospitality’s closing down in the middle of March last year hit sales at the time. This new data illustrates a further fall.
The Revenue from beer fell by 32% from €86.3 million to €58.5 million in the first Quarter of this year when compared to January-March 2020 while spirits revenues actually increased by 0.5% to €83.6 million as did wine revenues, rising 1.4% from €88.4 million to €89.6 million.
Cider revenues decreased 15.9% from €10.7 million to €9.0 million in Q1.
Overall, alcohol consumption declined last year by 6.6% to its lowest level in 30 years.
“This new Revenue data clearly shows that alcohol consumption continues to substantially decline in Ireland as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite commentary to the contrary,” said Drinks Ireland Director Patricia Callan, “While this decline was accelerated by Covid, it should be noted that it’s in line with the trend of consumption falling generally in Ireland over the past 30 years. The average alcohol consumption in 2020 was 29.8% lower than the peak of 2001.”