At 39% of total beer production, Ireland’s export-to-production ratio puts it in equal fourth place with Slovenia and France behind Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark in the report which was conducted by European Economics.
However Ireland also ranked highly when it came to imported beer as a percentage of total consumption in 2014 at over 30%.
With a consumption figure of 80 litres per person Ireland sits seventh-highest in the EU28 list.
Ireland also exhibits the highest on-trade share for beer consumption channel at a steady 64%, just ahead of Portugal and Spain.
When it comes to excise rates on beer though Ireland has an excise rate of €110 per hectolitre (at 4.8% ABV) putting it only behind Finland and the UK as the most highly-excised country with the Irish government raising excise taxes on beer by 43.5% between 2010 and 2014.
The European study also produced evidence that a rise in VAT and excise duties charged on beer sales can actually lead to lower revenues through dwindling volumes or a shift in consumer preferences.
“The EU remains the second-largest beer producer in the world after China; more importantly, the number of European breweries has significantly increased in recent years – to a total of over 6,500, producing 383 million hectolitres of beer in 2014,” emphasised the report.
“In this latest economic impact report, we are seeing the brewing sector flourishing again,” said Demetrio Carceller, President of The Brewers of Europe, “Indeed the contributions to employment and added value to European economies increased from 2013 to 2014. With the largest increases in the new Member States and among the major EU economies, Italy and the United Kingdom, it is clear that Beer is back”.
The Irish Brewers Association has welcomed the new report which found that the number of brewing companies increased significantly in Ireland between 2013 and 2014, up from 30 to 50. The beer-related contribution to employment in Ireland was also up between 2013 and 2014, to 44,741 jobs.
Microbrewery production is increasing here, with 40% of microbreweries exporting to other markets, helping boost the amount of value added to the economy by the beer sector to €1.72 billion in 2014.
“The Irish beer industry is experiencing an exciting period of development, with 20 new brewing companies opening across Ireland between 2013 and 2014,” commented Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association, “As the report states, investment in product development is also up. These trends reflect an increasingly diverse beer sector, with more high-quality Irish beer products for consumers at home and abroad. This is having a knock-on effect on employment, up by around 370 between 2013 and 2014 to almost 44,800 jobs.”
The report notes that production fell slightly between 2013 and 2014 which, it says, reflects conditions in international markets. It also found that the total beer-related contribution to government revenues increased from 2013 to 2014, with increases in excise duties and on-trade and off-trade VAT, in particular.
Consumer spend on beer totalled over €110 billion in the EU in 2014 – roughly €200 per inhabitant.