Craft beer pioneer new IBA Chairman

The Managing Director of the Carlow Brewing Company Seamus O’Hara has been appointed as the new Chairperson of the Irish Brewers Association, the representative group for brewers and distributers of beer in Ireland.

Seamus set up the Carlow Brewing Company in 1996 and is one of the craft brewing industry’s most recognisable pioneers.

The beer sector in Ireland is burgeoning with exports worth over €265 million.

There are now 63 microbreweries in production and established players expanding and investing. All this ensures that there has never been more choice for consumers in Ireland and those in export markets when choosing high quality Irish beer. According to the IBA, beer production remains the most important sector within the drinks industry in terms of indigenous manufacturing and providing jobs. Direct employment by the commercial beer industry was up 8% between 2013 and 2014 with 2,100 people employed. The Irish brewing sector produced 728 million litres of beer in 2014.  43% of all beer produced in that year was exported and in 2015 beer accounted for 21% of all beverage exports, worth €265 million.

This year is also the year that the Carlow Brewing Company celebrates its 20 year anniversary said Seamus, who developed the widely popular O’Hara’s beer range.  Half of everything the brewery produces is exported to more than 25 countries, including the US, France, Italy, Russia, Norway and Croatia.

“The number of microbreweries operating in Ireland has more than trebled since 2012 to 63 and consumers have never had more choice,” commented Seamus, “This appointment is another acknowledgement of the importance of the craft sector to the wider brewing industry.”

The IBA has represented the interests of brewers across Ireland since 1908. Today, it represents Ireland’s major brewers and distributers of beer.  The membership includes Diageo Ireland, Heineken Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Barry & Fitzwilliam and the Carlow Brewing Company.

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