Beer a fifth of all beverage exports

Exports of Irish beer are now worth €228 million with the industry supporting thousands of jobs in the development process of beer, from grain to glass.

As a result, employment levels have risen 8% in the industry due to the ongoing investment by the sector in Ireland and new product development.

The figures are taken from the Irish Brewers Association’s Annual Market Report, published yesterday, which shows that while production of beer in Ireland for export fell slightly between 2013 and 2014 due to the international economic environment, the beer industry remains a major success story.

Over 700 million litres of beer were produced here in 2014 with 43% of this being exported. In fact beer accounts for 19% of all exports of Irish beverages.

According to the report, beer remains Ireland’s most popular alcoholic drink with a 47% market share. Overall, consumption of beer was up 4% between 2013 and 2014. The report looks at consumption across the various types of beer – larger, stout and ale and shows that a higher percentage of consumers are now drinking stout (up from 29.2% to 31.1%) and ale (up from 5.4% to 5.9%).

The craft beer sector continues to be a success story, making up an estimated 1.2% of the market, with 40% of microbreweries exporting.

And the IBA again calls for the Government to support this sector in the report by reducing the excise burden which is currently the third-highest on beer in the EU and 11.4 times higher than the excise rate on beer in Germany.

“The Irish Brewers Association’s new report highlights the important role that the brewing sector has in supporting the Irish economy,” commented Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association, “Beer production remains the most important sector within the drinks industry in terms of indigenous manufacturing and providing jobs in major brewing facilities throughout the country. As Ireland’s economy continues to recover, the brewing industry has continued to invest in Ireland”.

He pointed out that the industry also supports thousands more jobs indirectly, including approximately 4,000 agricultural jobs.

“The Irish beer industry is experiencing a period of exciting development with new breweries opening across the country and established breweries expanding and investing in new products and facilities. Craft beer was estimated to have 1.2% of market share in 2014. There has never been more choice for consumers with Ireland’s beer renaissance continuing to flourish.

“In order to maintain the success story of the Irish beer market, the Government must reverse excise on alcohol in the next Budget,” he added.

Beer has been hit with a 42% excise increase over the past three years.

In the UK 26,000 jobs have been created since 2013 due to a cut in beer duty.

“The potential for Ireland’s brewing industry is massive if excise is reversed.”

IBA Info GraphicsV5

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