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Beer production rise post-pandemic, but consumption in Ireland continues 20-year downward trend


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According to a report by Drinks Ireland|Beer, the conclusion of the pandemic led to a remarkable 110% surge in beer production in Ireland, as both domestic and international markets reopened. Despite this growth in production and exports, beer consumption in Ireland remains below the levels seen in 2019, as stated by Drinks Ireland.

While there was a notable increase in beer sales once pandemic restrictions were lifted, a report from the industry body reveals that sales have not fully rebounded, as consumers are making conscious efforts to reduce their alcohol intake.

The report highlights that beer remains the preferred alcoholic beverage among Irish adults; however, consumption has decreased by 3.2% compared to 2019 levels, based on Revenue figures provided in the report.

This downward trend in beer consumption aligns with the ongoing decline in alcohol consumption in Ireland over the past two decades, which Drinks Ireland attributes, in part, to the higher excise duty rates.

Nonetheless, the annual Irish Beer Market Report by Drinks Ireland|Beer indicates a substantial 110% surge in total beer production in Ireland following the end of the pandemic, as both domestic and international markets reopened.

Furthermore, there has been a notable 25% increase in sales of zero-alcohol beer in the previous year. This has prompted major players in the market, like Guinness, to invest in this area. Guinness recently announced a €25 million investment in its 0.0% product at St James’ Gate.

Drinks Ireland Director Cormac Healy stated, “Although the zero-alcohol category is relatively small in Ireland, we can observe from markets such as Spain and Germany that 0.0% drinks hold a market share of over 10%.” Healy also emphasized that brewers should not face unnecessary additional regulations on products that can actually support the government and industry objective of reducing alcohol misuse.

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