Beer & cider down, spirits & wine up

Beer sales fell by 1.5% in 2015 compared to 2014, indicated by the latest set of clearance figures from the Revenue Commissioners.

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.




Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free