However total revenues for the year were up 6.2% from €7.1 million in 2020 to €7.5 million in the year “despite significant challenges in domestic and international markets during 2021” according to the company in its annual results.
Domestic sales were down 4% from €4.7 million to €4.6 million while sales in the rest of Europe showed growth of 44% from €2.1 million to just under €3 million.
Beyond these two markets global sales were down from €310,184 to just 31,313.
Ireland’s leading independent retail craft brewery, based in County Kildare, witnessed a considerable drop in Operating Profits from €278,650 in 2020 to €52,343 in 2021.
The company puts this down in the main to increased operating expenses as the brewery as it moved to a 24/7 brewing model – expanding production capacity by 25% – and adapting to the “stop-start” nature of hospitality’s post Covid-19 reopening waves with the resultant shift in emphasis between off-trade versus on-trade production and distribution.
Employing 63 (up seven on the previous year), six staff were added to manufacturing and one to Admin during the year.
As a result, staff costs rose 7% to €2.5 million from €2.3 million.
Now in its ninth year of operation, Rye River had four products in the top 15-selling beers in the off-trade here last year where its Double IPA was the top-selling Irish craft beer.
During the year the company introduced its Rye River branding into both the on- and off-trades in Ireland.
The on-trade saw a full transition from the successful McGargles brand to the new contemporary brewery-led brand.
In addition to the Rye River brands, the Celbridge company continues to produce the McGargles brand for off-trade generally as well as the Crafty Brewing Company brand for Lidl, Grafters for Dunnes and Solas for Tesco.
According to the company, “The diversified sales and distribution channels with a mix of on- and off-trade sales of Rye River Brewing Company brands and retail partnerships along with flexibility in our production capability ensured that the business could adapt to the many changes experienced in 2021 as production needed to shift between on- and-off trade as the hospitality sector opened, closed and re-opened in 2021 in line with public health guidelines both in Ireland and its export markets”.
A Rye River Brewing Company 4x330ml can pack was also launched.
Established in 2013, Rye River Brewing Company is Ireland’s largest and most-decorated independent craft brewery currently brewing over 34,000 Hectolitres annually.
During the year Rye River also enhanced its reputation as Ireland’s most decorated craft brewery with 31 awards secured at the 2021 World Beer Awards, beating a record-breaking 30 awards earned the previous year. Among the WBA accolades were World’s Best Dark American Style Brown Ale for ‘The Crafty Brewing Company American Brown Ale’ and Ireland’s Best Double IPA. To date Rye River Brewing Company has won over 100 World Beer Awards in the past six years.
The introduction of a new packaging line costing €1.3 million is in train with a further €2.5 million capital investment programme scheduled for 2022 and 2023 in brewing, packaging and warehousing projects.
“Trading volumes for the first half of 2022 remained strong with continued volume and market share growth, albeit with increased manufacturing costs, in particular since the start of Q2 2022,” stated the company, “While recent investment in production efficiencies have eased pressure on costs, many increased costs are completely outside of the company’s control. For instance, the sourcing of glass has moved from Russia to UK manufacturers since the onset of war in Ukraine, which will see an impact of €200,000 in additional costs in 2022.”