Stouts & Ales – demand is there

With Winter still persisting, it's a good time to sell dark beers. And with so many different varieties now on offer, it’s also a good time to pair up stouts and ales to your food offering which can take demand for stouts and ales well beyond the cold months.

The significant rise in popularity of craft beers and good food combined has helped fuel growth in the stouts and ales market. And Winter is a good time to sell dark beers and stouts of all sorts.

Ale enjoys 8% of the Irish beer market while stout has a 35% share.



AC Nielsen figures indicate that the ale market is worth around €230 million (MAT to the end of December), with the on-trade, at €192 million, selling over five times the off-trade value. But while 2017 on-trade ale sales values were up 3%, they grew 9% in the off-trade.

And ale sales volumes showed Year-On-Year growth of around 8% in the off-trade where on-trade sales volumes flatlined, significant because on-trade sales of ale account for 81% of total sales.



Not surprisingly on-trade stout volumes dwarf the off-trade market by a factor of six, holding 86% of the total stout market.

And as Diageo Ireland’s Category Development and Insights Manager Jack Harte pointed out, “Stout drinkers visit the on-trade an average of seven times a month (two more than ‘total beer drinkers’) and they spend more on average per visit than any other beer category and are more loyal to the on-trade than lager drinkers”.

Second only to lager, Year-On-Year volume sales of stout were down 4.2% in the on-trade, however, while they were up just 0.8% in the off-trade.

Worth €837 million altogether, the €775 million on-trade stout market lost 2.3% in value while the off-trade flatlined at €62 million.

Changed days then, since Smithwicks used outsell Guinness back in the late 70s.



Smithwick’s Irish Ale hosted an unforgettable alternative New Year’s celebration with a difference: Smithwick’s 10° West. Located 53°N 10°W on Achill Island, the celebration embraced the true Achill Island way of life, where few things mattered more than creating amazing memories with friends in one of the most picturesque and remote settings in Ireland while also being witness to the country’s last sunset of the year.

Over the course of the two days there were a range of both daytime activities and evening entertainment.

By day, attendees enjoyed yoga sessions, breathtaking greenway cycles slicing between the Atlantic and the Slievemore Mountains and hikes through some of the most unexplored countryside in Ireland.

As evening fell, the island served as the backdrop for a boutique music festival, curated by Homebeat, with the main celebration in the Keel tent featuring live performances from Daithi, Stomptown Brass, Lumo & Talos alongside acoustic and pop-up music sessions from Anna Mieke, Let’s Set Sail and The Silken Same in some of Achill’s favourite ‘locals’.

“It was an experience for those looking for that little something different to the traditional New Year’s,” said Smithwick’s Brand Manager Jeanette Levis, “People were able to enjoy real moments with friends, from going for a hike in the breathtaking Achill landscape to sharing a pint in a cozy pub listening to some of Ireland’s best bands.”



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