A new report shows that beer is Ireland’s favourite alcoholic drink, with a 45% market share. The Irish Beer Market Report, from the Irish Brewers Association (IBA), found that direct employment in the beer industry rose by 3.7%, from 1,064 people in 2017 to 1,103 in 2018.
The report shows that the sector paid €430 million in excise duty in 2018, with 29% of the price of every pint going to the Government.
According to the report, lager remains Ireland’s favourite beer, accounting for a 63.8% market share, up from 60.8% in 2017. Stout is Ireland’s second favourite, with a 29.3% share, followed by ale at 6.3%.
Non-alcoholic beer made a splash in the market last year, as health-conscious consumers, or those choosing not to drink, try out the growing number of options on the market. It held a 0.6% share in the beer market in 2018, up from 0.4% in 2017. This follows the trend in international markets, particularly in Europe, where low and non-alcoholic beer is growing in popularity.
Most beer consumed is done so in the on-trade (63.5% market share), demonstrating the importance of the beer sector to the pub and vice versa. However, the off-trade market share of beer sales increased between 2017 and 2018, from 35.2% to 36.5%.
Commenting on the report, Head of the IBA, Jonathan McDade said, "Ireland’s beer sector continues to perform strongly, as a result of a constant focus on innovation and creativity by brewers both large and small. This is illustrated by growth in the craft beer sector since 2014 and the plethora of new products on the market in recent years. Also, there has been a marked increase in non-alcoholic beer to the market, as brewers respond to the growing trend towards health and wellbeing."