To mark International Beer Day, 4th August, the Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has released its 2016 annual Beer Market Report for Ireland. The report shows Irish beer exports were valued at over €280 million, up 23% in two years with 40% of beer produced in Ireland being exported.  

Beer remains Ireland’s most popular alcoholic drink, with a 46.2% market share, a trend that has remained steady for the past six years. The report looks at consumption across the various types of beer – lager, stout and ale. It shows that in 2016 a higher percentage of consumers were drinking lager than in 2015 (up from 60.4% to 60.9%).

The craft beer sector revolution is continuing with an estimated 3.4% of total beer market share in 2016, up from 2.5% in 2015. Overall beer production declined marginally by just under 1%.

In addition, total beer sales rose by 3% in 2016 and 66% of those sales were in the on trade sector. Ireland has the highest percentage of on trade versus off trade beer sales in the European Union. 

The Irish Brewers Association has called on the Government to support the sector by reducing the excise burden in Budget 2018. Excise in Ireland has gone up 42% in the past six years and Ireland has the second highest excise on beer in the EU as well as the most expensive alcohol in the EU. Beer excise receipts were €430 million in 2016, up from €417 million in 2015.

Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association said: “The Irish Brewers Association’s 2016 report highlights the important role that the brewing sector has in supporting the Irish economy. Beer exports continuing to perform strongly, accounting for 20% of total beverage exports while the sector continues to contribute enormously to the exchequer with domestic beer sales up marginally due to favourable tourism figures and population growth.”