Irish beer production, exports and sales fall for the second year in a row

Irish beer exports fell for the second straight year in 2021, however the sector showed signs of recovery in the second half of last year.

This is according to Drinks Ireland|Beer’s annual Irish Beer Market Report, which says that the ongoing closure of food service establishments both domestically and in key international markets has resulted in another challenging year for Irish brewers in 2021.

According to the report, between 2020 and 2021, the pandemic led to a 46 percent drop in production, with sales down 1.3 percent and per capita consumption down 2.3 percent.

It found that overall alcohol consumption continues to fall “dramatically in Ireland”.

Although the value of beer exports fell by 3 per cent last year, sales were still substantial at €246 million, while the most popular destination for Irish beer was Britain, followed by the United States in second place.

The analysis found that stout sales have been “hard hit” by the pandemic, as stout is primarily consumed in licensed venues.

Before Covid-19, around 30 per cent of beer consumed in Ireland was stout. This fell to 25.3 percent in 2020 but rose 6.9 percent to 32.2 percent last year. Lager, which was more popular during the pandemic because it was consumed at home, saw its market share fall by just over 8.3 percent last year, while ale’s market share rose 1 percent.

Non-alcoholic beer is also growing in popularity, with its market share increasing from 1.1 percent in 2020 to 1.5 percent in 2021. The market share of non-alcoholic beer was 0.4 percent in 2017.

Peter Mosley, Managing Director of Porterhouse Brewing Company and Chairman of Drinks Ireland | Beer said the report illustrates the “significant impact” the pandemic has continued to have on Irish brewers over the past year, with production being “particularly affected”.

“There were some signs of an early recovery as consumers returned to hospitality operations in the second half of the year. Before Covid, just over 60 per cent of beer sales were made in Ireland’s pubs, restaurants and hotels. In 2020, an estimated 29 percent of beer sales came from hospitality, but that share rose to 46 percent in 2021,” he said. Irish beer production, exports and sales fall for the second year in a row

Fry Electronics Team

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