At 18.54 million hectolitres of pure alcohol, the 2015 figures for beer were down by some 8% on those five years previously (20.12 million hectolitres pure alcohol) and compared to 2007 – the year prior to the economic collapse – sales of beer were down by over 19% in 2015 on 2007’s figure of nearly 23 million hectolitres (pure alcohol).
But so far this year, at 870,000 hectolitres, beer sales in January showed an increase of 4.6% on the January 2015 figure (831,465 hectolitres) while the beer figure for February (1.2 million hectolitres) was also up by 11.2% on February 2015 (1.07 million hectolitres) according to the Revenue Commissioners’ Commodity Statistics Report – Alcohol Established.
Cider too showed a decline of nearly 7% in 2015 from 62.4 million litres of product down to 58.1 million litres, but compared to 2010’s 66.4 million litre clearance figure, cider showed a decline of over 12% and a decline of over 28% on the 81.3 million litre figure for cider for 2007.
So far this year, cider sales in January 2016 (2.39m litres) were down by 6.5% on the cider figure in January the previous year 2015 (2.56m litres), mirrored again in the two February comparisons (4.04m litres from 4.32m litres).
Spirits, however, witnessed a rise of nearly 2% to 7.36 million lires of pure alcohol in 2015 over 2014’s 7.22 million litres. But 2015’s spirits clearances were nearly 6% down on those for spirits in 2010 at 7.82 million litres and by over 20% on the figures for spirits in 2007, 8.93 million litres.
To date in 2016, at 347,511 litres, January saw a rise of over 15% for spirits compared to January 2015 (300,589 litres) while the spirits figure for February, at 444,285 litres, was also up by 10% on the figure for February last year (403,295 litres).
At 87.28 million litres, sales of wine (at average 12.5% ABV) were up 2% last year on 2014’s 85.44 million litres. The 2015 wine figure was slightly down compared to the 2010 figure (87.41m litres) but the 2015 figure shows a rise of over 5% on the 2007 wine figure of 68.38 million litres.
Indeed wine is the only beverage to experience a growth in sales since 2007 and this despite a 62% increase in wine excise since 2012.
So far in 2016, at 4.56 million litres, wine figures for January were down nearly 3% on those for January 2015 (4.69 million litres) but at 5.43 million litres they improved in February, up nearly 7% on the 5.08 million litre figure for February 2015.