Revenue Commissioners’ Quarterly figures show that sales of beer were down overall 15% overall between January and September this year (the latest quarter for which figures are available) compared with the same period last year.
However draught beer sales, which take place almost exclusively in the on-trade, were particularly badly hit, falling by 57% during this period (Q1-Q3) when compared to the 2019 figures according to Drinks Ireland|Beer. The draught beer sales volume figures would be based on data that Drinks Ireland|Beer members would have sent back and doesn’t include figures on beer returned to the brewery.
The Ibec trade association, which represents beer producers in Ireland, also looked at figures from April to June (Q2) which showed that draught beer sales fell by 93%.
Ireland’s beer sector has been hit harder than its EU counterparts.
According to Drinks Ireland|Beer, around 63% of beer is usually sold via the on-trade in Ireland. This compares to a European average of 30% (although both Portugal and Spain are currently ahead of Ireland for the amount of beer sold in the on-trade).
“These figures show that despite some commentary to the contrary, consumption declined as a result of Covid-19 and the closure of pubs,” said Jonathan McDade, Head of Drinks Ireland|Beer, “Ireland’s beer sector has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 because of the large proportion of beer usually consumed in the on-trade in Ireland.
“This data demonstrates the knock-on impact that closures have had, not only on hospitality venues, but also on their many suppliers and the wider business ecosystem in which they operate, including beer producers.”