The Irish Beer Market Report, from the Irish Brewers Association finds that while alcohol consumption continues to fall overall in Ireland, decreasing by 23.2% since 2001 (according Revenue Commissioners and CSO data) beer consumption rose marginally last year.
Total beer production here also rose 3.8% from 8,019,000 Hectolitres in 2017 to 8,322,000 Hectolitres in 2018 while direct employment in beer production rose 3.7% from 1,064 people in 2017 to 1,103 in 2018.
The sector paid €430 million in excise duty last year, with 29% of the price of every pint going to the Government.
Lager – increasing favourite
Lager remains Ireland’s favourite beer type, accounting for a 63.8% share of the beer market, up from 60.8% in 2017. Stout remains Ireland’s second favourite with a 29.3% share followed by Ale at 6.3%.
However as health-conscious consumers, or those choosing not to drink, tried out the growing number of options on the market Non-Alcoholic beer’s share rose to 0.6% of the beer market last year from 0.4% in 2017. This follows the trend in international markets, particularly in Europe, where Low and Non-Alcoholic beer is growing in popularity.
On-/Off-trade beer sales
The on-trade accounts for the majority of beer consumption at 63.5% which demonstrates the importance of the beer sector to the pub and vice-versa. However, the off-trade’s share of beer sales increased between 2017 and 2018, from 35.2% to 36.5%.
Premium & Craft
The growing tendency towards premium, super-premium and craft continues to be evident in the beer sector. Craft beer sales have grown 6.7% from 119,000 Hectolitres in 2016 to 127,000 Hectolitres in 2017. This marks an increase of 57% from the 2014 sales figure of 54,000 Hectolitres.
Elsewhere, beer export values fell marginally from €273 million in 2017 to €268 million in 2018. However Ireland is the EU’s seventh-largest exporter of beer.
“Ireland’s beer sector continues to perform strongly as a result of a constant focus on innovation and creativity by brewers both large and small,” said Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association and author of the report, “This is illustrated by growth in the craft beer sector since 2014 and the plethora of new products on the market in recent years. Also, there’s been a marked increase in non-alcoholic beer to the market as brewers respond to the growing trend towards health and wellbeing.
“Looking forward we anticipate that the sector will continue to diversify, offering consumers more choice in the on- and off-trade.”