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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Brewers call for excise duty cuts as beer sales fall for second year

Beer sales fell for the second year in 2021 as bar and restaurant closures hit the sector.

The report from Drinks Ireland, the iBec group representing the region, found that beer production fell by 46 percent between 2020 and 2021.

Liquor makers are calling for excise tax cuts as they battle rising costs and recover from two years of Covid restrictions.

Beer sales from the hospitality sector rose to 46 pc in 2021, still below the pre-pandemic level of around 60 pc, but at the 2020 level of 29 pc.

Sales declined by 1.3 percent and per capita consumption declined by 2.3 percent in the year.

Beer exports fell 3pc in value last year to €246m, with the UK and the US being Ireland’s main export markets.

Stout made up lost ground after the ban was lifted last year, rising to 32.3pc of the total beer consumed in Ireland, up from 25.3pc in 2020.

Lager, which is more popularly consumed at home, saw its market share drop by just 8.3 percent last year, while ale saw a 1 percent increase in market share.

The market share of non-alcoholic beer increased from 1.1 per cent in 2020 to 1.5 per cent last year. It had a market share of 0.4 percent in 2017.

“Irish brewers are now working to return to growth, driven by strong innovation across established and emerging players,” said Peter Mosley, Porterhouse Brewing Company Managing Director and President of Drinks Ireland (Beer).

“We’ve seen some interesting trends in recent years, such as the development of non-alcoholic beer, which we expect to continue.”

The annual Irish Beer Market Report showed that overall alcohol consumption in Ireland continued to decline, with beer remaining Ireland’s most popular beverage.

Liquor makers have called for a reduction in excise duty to help recoveries in the sector as they grapple with rising costs.

This comes as the government today prepares to extend the 9 per cent lower VAT rate for the hospitality sector.

“After two of the most challenging years for the brewing sector and the ongoing issue of rising commercial costs, we are calling for a reduction in excise duties in this year’s budget,” said Jonathan McDade, Director of Drinks Ireland (Beer).

“This will enable greater investment and innovation within the sector. It will also benefit hard-pressed consumers who are facing rising cost of living.”

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