Production of beer in Ireland fell by nearly 50 percent last year as a result of closures resulting from lockdown.
The statistics were published in Drinks Ireland Beer’s annual Irish Beer Market Report. There was a fall of 46 percent in production between 2020 and 2021.
Drinks Ireland has said that overall alcohol consumption continues to decline dramatically in Ireland. The decline has been attributed to the closures of hospitality venues both in Ireland and internationally.
Beer producers are now calling on the government to remove alcohol excise when putting together this year’s budget.
Today’s report illustrates the significant impact the pandemic continued to have on Irish brewers last year, with production particularly hit, said Peter Mosley, Managing Director of the Porterhouse Brewing Company and Chair of Drinks Ireland Beer.
There were some signs of early recovery, as consumers returned to the on- trade in the second half of the year.
Prior to Covid, just over 60 percent of beer sales were in Ireland pubs, resturant and hotels. In 2020, an estimated 29 percent of beer sales were from the hospitality sector but this rose to 46 percent in 2021.
Irish brewers are now working to return to growth, driven by strong innovation in the sector from established and emerging players.
The beer most affected by the pandemic was stout, with sales falling from 30 percent to 25.3 percent between 2019 and 2021.
Director of Drinks Ireland Beer, Jonathan McDade, said that the reduction of excise on beer in this year’s budget would enable more investment and innovation within the sector. The industry is recovering but essures such as inflation could have significant impacts on the beer industry. Ireland’s excise on beer is the second highest in the European Union.