Irish beer production declines by 46% due to the pandemic, report shows

According to the annual Irish Beer Market Report from Drinks Ireland|Beer, the pandemic caused a 46 per cent fall in production between 2020 and 2021.
Irish beer production declines by 46% due to the pandemic, report shows

While hospitality venues were shut for significant periods of time in 2021, beer production suffered a major decline.

According to the annual Irish Beer Market Report from Drinks Ireland|Beer, the pandemic caused a 46 per cent fall in production between 2020 and 2021.

Sales were down by 1.3 per cent, while beer exports fell by three per cent last year to €246 million.

Consumption of alcohol has continued to decline with consumption of beer per capita down 2.3 per cent.

Stout sales were heavily hit by the pandemic, as stout is mostly consumed in the on-trade.

Before the pandemic, 30 per cent of all beer consumed in Ireland was stout. This fell to 25.3 per cent in 2020, but rose by 6.9 per cent to 32.2 per cent last year.

Meanwhile, larger was more popular during Covid as it was consumed at home. Its market share fell by just over 8.3 per cent, with ale’s market share was up by one per cent.

The report also shows non-alcoholic beer is becoming increasingly popular, with its market share up from 1.1 per cent in 2020 to 1.5 per cent in 2021. This is a significant increase compared to the 0.4 per cent market share recorded in 2017.

Peter Mosley, managing director of the Porterhouse Brewing Company and chair of Drinks Ireland|Beer said the report shows the significant impact the pandemic continued to have on the industry last year.

“There were some signs of early recovery, as consumers returned to the on-trade in the second half of the year,” Mr Mosley said.

“Prior to Covid just over 60 per cent of beer sales were in Ireland’s pubs, restaurants, and hotels. In 2020 an estimated 29 per cent of beer sales were from the hospitality sector, but this rose to 46 per cent in 2021.

“Irish brewers are now working to return to growth, driven by strong innovation in the sector from established and emerging players.

“We have seen some interesting trends in recent years like the growth of non-alcoholic beer, which we expect to continue.”

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