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Closure Of Hospitality Sector Had 'Profound Impact' On Irish Brewers, Report Finds

Published on Apr 12 2021 9:59 AM in Drinks tagged: Featured Post / Beer / pubs / Drinks Ireland

Closure Of Hospitality Sector Had 'Profound Impact' On Irish Brewers, Report Finds

The closure of the hospitality sector in Ireland last year led to beer sales declining by 17.3%, while production was down by 13.8%, according to a new report by Drinks Ireland|Beer.

Just 29.7% of the beer sold in Ireland last year was through hospitality businesses, down from more than 60% in 2019, an indication of the 'profound impact' that COVID-19 had on the brewing sector, the group said.

In addition, the Irish Beer Market Report 2020 detailed how the value of beer exports declined by 17% in 2020, from €305 million to €254 million.

The most significant fall in exports was to the United States, which were down by 45%.

Lockdown also influenced the type of beers that Irish drinkers tended to consume – stout usually accounts for 30% of all beer sales, but fell to 25.3% last year, due to the closure of pubs.

In addition, ale's market share dropped from 6.2% in 2019 to 4.1% in 2020, while lager increased its market share from 63.5% to 69.5%.

'Valuable Contribution'

“Ireland’s beer industry is dynamic, innovative, and makes a valuable contribution to the economy," commented Peter Mosley, managing director of the Porterhouse Brewing Company and chair of Drinks Ireland|Beer.

"In 2019, prior to COVID-19, exports were valued at €305 million and we have seen a stream of new products coming onto the market from Irish brewers in recent years, including low and non-alcoholic variants."

The fact that hospitality businesses remain closed, more than a quarter into the current year, indicates that challenges are likely to continue for the brewing sector in 2021, he added.

“Coupled with a fall in sales for Irish beer, brewers have also provided extensive financial support to their hospitality customers at a heavy cost," he said, "carrying out keg uplifts, and organising for the disposal of unsold and out of date beer in an environmentally friendly manner.”

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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