The ICBI’s Grainne Walsh claims that, “With a fledgling microbrewing industry in Ireland, we want to promote this and we don’t believe that macrobreweries masquerading brands as craft beer brands is something that will help our industry develop”.
The ICBI is currently working on a logo to supply to member breweries here who comply with the Government definition of a microbrewery where tax relief can be claimed for those producing under 30,000 hectolitres of beer a year.
“We want to ensure that breweries calling themselves ‘Irish craft breweries’ are indeed microbreweries under the Government definition of this,” stated Grainne, who heads up Waterford’s Metalman Brewery which became the first microbrewery in the country to install its own canning line last year.
The new trademark will require the relevant excise documentation proving output of under 30,000hl as well as proving that the brewery is “independently-owned”.
The trademark design is currently being finalised with the designer and she hopes to have it out to members within the next six weeks or so.
“The growth in the market is keeping us all so busy that there has been a delay in getting this out to our members,” she admitted.
Over 50 different microbreweries have helped grow the craft beer market here by 18% set against a 3% decline in the beer market overall. And while constituting less than 2% of the Irish beer market, there remains considerable potential to eat into this further.
In the US, ‘craft’ beer is now responsible for around 12% of the total beer market by volume and perhaps 20% by value.
The major breweries there have seen a decline in North American sales which some put down to the emergence of a stronger craft brewing market there.