The Craft Beer and Microbreweries in Ireland Survey 2016 found 90 microbreweries operating in Ireland today of which 62 are ‘production’ microbreweries and 28 ‘contracting’ companies. The total turnover of craft beer producers was estimated at €40 million in 2015, while the outlook remains very positive with a projected turnover of €59 million for 2016. Since 2011 microbrewery turnover has risen 11-fold.
“This report provides a really useful profile of the sector year-on-year and over time,” stated the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed TD in welcoming the report, “ Food Wise 2025 identified huge growth opportunities for craft beer and the potential to increase the number of microbreweries to 100. Already there’s a microbrewery in nearly every county, creating jobs at a very local level in towns and rural areas and niche opportunities for growers. Food Wise also noted the explosion of the craft beer market in the United States. I’m pleased to see a number of microbreweries exploring export opportunities in close co-operation with Bord Bia.”
Bord Bia’s Beverages Manager Denise Murphy also welcomed the encouraging survey results and the potential for further growth at home and abroad.
“Some two-thirds of microbreweries are now exporting, albeit many of them on a small scale as yet,” she stated, “ The category is rapidly developing its export capability and this will be reflected in export volumes reported going forward.”
On average, two-thirds of microbreweries are now targeting an export share of 40% of total production in the next few years.
Between 2011 and 2015 microbreweries’ production output rose by more than 415% to reach 134,000hl or 1.8% of total beer production here. The 2015 figure represents a 56% increase on the 2014 figure of 86,000 hl. Capacity expansion continues apace and that, coupled with the influx of new breweries, will provide a 47% increase in output in 2016 to around 197,000 hl, giving it a 2.5% share of production this year.
Of the total microbrewery production in 2015, an estimated 24,000 hl (18%) was exported. This is 7% less than the figure reflected in 2014, however it’s important to note that this percentage is based on a larger production volume from the industry as a whole.
In fact three producers account for 78% of all exports by volume.
Craft beer represented 2.5% of total beer consumption in Ireland last year and the report projects a rise to 3.4% in 2016.
Craft beer producers have seen their total turnover increase with each year, rising from around €23 million in 2014 to €40 million in 2015m with an estimated turnover of €59 million this year.