The Irish Brewers Association (IBA), the representative voice for the brewing industry in Ireland, has released its Annual Market Report.
Irish beer industry exports are worth over €228m and the industry supports thousands of jobs in the development process of beer, from grain to glass.
While production of beer in Ireland for export fell slightly between 2013 and 2014 due to the international economic environment, the beer industry remains a major success story.
Over 700 million litres of beer were produced in 2014. In Ireland 43% of beer produced is exported and beer accounts for 19% of all beverage exports. The craft beer sector continues to be a success story, making up an estimated 1.2% of the market, with 40% of microbreweries exporting.
In the new report, the IBA has called for the Government to support the sector by reducing the excise burden. Currently, Ireland has the third highest excise on beer in the EU and it is 11.4 times higher than the excise rate on beer in Germany.
Jonathan McDade, head of the IBA said: “The Irish Brewers Association’s new report highlights the important role that the brewing sector has in supporting the Irish economy. Beer production remains the most important sector within the drinks industry in terms of indigenous manufacturing and providing jobs in major brewing facilities throughout the country. As Ireland’s economy continues to recover, the brewing industry has continued to invest in Ireland, with direct employment up 8%. We know that the industry also supports thousands more jobs indirectly, including approximately 4,000 agricultural jobs.
“In order to maintain the success story of the Irish beer market, the Government must reverse excise on alcohol in the next Budget. The potential for Ireland’s brewing industry is massive if excise is reversed.”
In terms of consumption trends, the report shows that beer remains Ireland’s most popular alcoholic drink, with a 47% market share. Overall, consumption of beer was up 4% between 2013 and 2014. The report looks at consumption across the various types of beer – larger, stout and ale. It shows that a higher percentage of consumers are now drinking stout and ale.