Brewers call for excise tax cut as beer sales plummet for second year


Beer sales fell for a second year in 2021 as closures of bars and restaurants hit the sector.

A report by Drinks Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, found beer production fell by 46 per cent between 2020 and 2021.

Brewers are calling for an excise duty cut as they grapple with rising costs and recovering from two years of Covid restrictions.

Beer sales from the hospitality industry rose 46 percent in 2021, still below pre-pandemic levels of about 60 percent but above 2020 levels of 29 percent.

Sales fell 1.3 percent and per capita consumption fell 2.3 percent a year.

The value of beer exports fell 3 per cent to 246 million euros last year, with the UK and US being Ireland’s top export markets.

Stout gained ground when restrictions were lifted last year, rising to 32.3% of all beer consumed in Ireland from 25.3% in 2020.

Lager, which is more commonly consumed at home, saw its market share fall by just over 8.3 percent last year, while ale’s market share rose 1 percent.

The market share of non-alcoholic beer rose from 1.1 percent in 2020 to 1.5 percent last year. Its market share was 0.4 percent in 2017.

“Irish breweries are now working to return to growth, driven by strong innovation in the industry from established and emerging players,” said Peter Mosley, Managing Director of Porterhouse Brewing Company and Chairman of Drinks Ireland (beer).

“We’ve seen some interesting trends over the last few years, such as the growth of non-alcoholic beer, which we expect will continue.”

The annual Irish Beer Market Report showed that overall alcohol consumption in Ireland continues to decline, with beer remaining Ireland’s most popular drink.

Brewers have called for a cut in excise taxes to fuel the sector’s recovery as they grapple with rising costs.

It comes as the government prepares to extend the 9 per cent reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector today.

“After two of the most difficult years for the brewing sector and the ongoing challenge of rising costs of doing business, we are calling for an excise duty cut in this year’s budget,” said Jonathan McDade, Director of Drinks Ireland (beer).

“This would allow for more investment and innovation within the sector. It would also benefit stressed consumers facing mounting cost of living pressures.” Brewers call for excise tax cut as beer sales plummet for second year

Fry Electronics Team

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