Irish beer exports fell for the second year in a row during 2021, however, the sector showed signs of improvement in the second half of last year.
According to the Annual Irish Beer Market Report from Beverage Ireland Hat | Beer said 2021 was another challenging year for Irish brewers as a result of the closure of hospitality sites in both domestic and key international markets.
According to the report, production fell by 46 percent between 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, with sales falling by 1.3 percent and consumption per capita by 2.3 percent.
It found that overall alcohol consumption is declining “dramatically in Ireland”.
Although the value of beer exports fell to 3 pc last year, sales were still significant at €246m, while the most popular destination for Irish beer was Great Britain, with the United States in second place.
The analysis found that stout sales were “heavily impacted” by the pandemic, as stout is consumed mostly at licensed premises.
Before Covid-19, about 30 percent of the beer consumed in Ireland was low in volume. It fell to 25.3 percent in 2020, but rose by 6.9 percent to 32.2 percent last year. Lager, which was more popular during the pandemic as it was eaten at home, saw its market share drop by more than 8.3 percent last year, while ale’s market share increased by 1 percent.
Non-alcoholic beer is also becoming increasingly popular, with its market share increasing from 1.1 pcs in 2020 to 1.5 pcs in 2021. The market share of non-alcoholic beer was 0.4 pc in 2017.
Managing Director of Porterhouse Brewing Company and President of Drinks Ireland | Beer Peter Mosley said the report reflects the “significant impact” that the pandemic has had on Irish brewers last year, with production being “a particularly hit”.
“There were some signs of a quick recovery, as consumers returned to on-trade in the second half of the year. Before Covid, Ireland’s pubs, restaurants and hotels sold just over 60 pcs of beer. An estimated 29 in 2020 Percentage beer sales were from the hospitality sector, but it increased to 46 per cent in 2021,” he said.