This figure has risen from 63.3% in 2014, according to the Irish Brewers Association which launches its annual Beer Market Report later today.
With Irish beer exports up 16%, beer production in Ireland also rose 6% in 2015, the first time that beer production in Ireland has risen since 2011, according to the IBA which estimates the number of full-time jobs in beer production here at 1,710.
Irish beer exports are valued at over €265 million with 43% of all beer produced in Ireland being exported and accounting for 21% of Ireland’s total beverage exports.
Beer remains Ireland’s most popular alcoholic drink, with a 47% market share, a trend that’s remained steady for the past five years. However as spirits’ and wine’s share of the alcohol market grew slightly, this was at the expense of cider which lost share, falling from a consistent 8% since 2011 to 6.6% last year.
The report also looks at consumption across the various types of beer and shows that a higher percentage of consumers are now drinking stout (up from 31.1% to 33.4%) and ale (up from 5.9% to 6.2%) as lager’s share decreases to 60.4% from 63% in 2014.
The IBA estimates that craft beer now forms an estimated 2% of Ireland’s total beer market share in 2015, up from 1.2% in 2014 and 0.6% in 2012.
“The Irish Brewers Association’s new report highlights the important role that the brewing sector has in supporting the Irish economy,” says Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association, “Beer production is up, exports are up, direct employment remains steady and the sector continues to contribute enormously to the Exchequer, particularly through excise.”
Per capita beer consumption fell from 81.6 litres to 79.9, causing Jonathan McDade to remark, “Even though consumption in Ireland has fallen marginally (by 2%), beer remains Ireland’s favourite beverage.”
The report points out that, “The fall in consumption in 2015 however reflects the overarching trend of alcohol consumption falling by 25% since 2001”.
Excise on beer brought the Exchequer €417 million in 2015, a fall on 2014’s €425 million figure.
At the launch of the report this evening the IBA will add its voice to calls on the Government to support the sector by reducing the excise burden, “particularly as we are heading into uncertain economic times due to the outcome of the recent Brexit referendum”. Ireland has the third-highest excise on beer in the EU as well as the most expensive alcohol in Europe points out Jonathan McDade, 11 times greater than beer drinkers in Germany.
“The real success story of the Irish brewing sector is its exports, with a 16% value increase compared to 2014. Ireland already boasts to produce some of the worlds most popular and iconic beer brands and it is encouraging that Irish beer remains so popular in other markets.”