The new Irish Beer Market Report from the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has revealed that total production from the Irish beer sector was up by 3.8% to 8,322,000hl in 2018 from 8,019,000hl in 2017.
While alcohol consumption continues to fall overall in Ireland, decreasing by 23.2% since 2001, according to Revenue Commissioner and CSO data, the report states that beer consumption rose marginally in 2018.
The report also states that export value fell marginally from €273 million in 2017 to €268 million in 2018.
Direct employment in the beer sector rose by 3.7% from 1,064 people in 2017 to 1,103 in 2018, according to the report, and the sector paid €430 million in excise duty in 2018, with 29% of the price of every pint going to the government.
The report shows that lager accounted for a 63.8% share of the beer market last year, up from 60.8% in 2017, while stout had a 29.3% share and ale's share was 6.3%.
As reported earlier this week, sales of low and non-alcoholic beer increased 60% to 30,000hl in Ireland in 2018, and non-alcoholic beer had a 0.6% share in the beer market last year, up from 0.4% in 2017.
According to the report, most beer consumed is done so in the on-trade (63.5% market share), which demonstrates the importance of the beer sector to the pub and vice versa. However, the off-trade market share of beer sales increased between 2017 and 2018, rising from 35.2% to 36.5%.
Additionally, the most recent data on craft beer sales shows an increase of 6.7%, from 119,000hl in 2016 to 127,000hl in 2017.
"A Constant Focus On Innovation And Creativity"
Head of the IBA Jonathan McDade commented, "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. 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 has been a marked increase in non-alcoholic beer to the market, as brewers respond to the growing trend towards health and well-being.
"Looking forward, we anticipate that the sector will continue to diversify, offering consumers more choice in the on and off trade."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.