A Carlow brewer is calling for a reduction in excise duty on beer in this year’s budget as the sector recovers from the pandemic.
The annual ***Irish Beer Market Report*** from Drinks Ireland|Beer, shows that the pandemic resulted in a 46% fall in production between 2020 and 2021, with sales down by 1.3% and per capita consumption down by 2.3%.
Seamus O’Hara, managing director of the Carlow Brewing Company, said: “We are a proud employer in Carlow, supporting local jobs and the community. We are calling for an excise reduction in this year’s budget, to enable us to increase investment and innovation, and to continue to enhance our economic contribution to the region. This would also benefit hard pressed consumers, facing rising cost of living pressures.”
The continued closure of hospitality venues domestically and in key international markets resulted in another challenging year for Irish brewers in 2021, but there were some signs of early recovery in the second half of the year, according to the report.
Peter Mosley, managing director of the Porterhouse Brewing Company and chair of Drinks Ireland|Beer, said:
“Today’s report illustrates the significant impact the pandemic continued to have on Irish brewers last year, with production particularly hit. There were some signs of early recovery, as consumers returned to the on-trade in the second half of the year. Prior to Covid just over 60% of beer sales were in Ireland’s pubs, restaurants, and hotels. In 2020 an estimated 29% of beer sales were from the hospitality sector, but this rose to 46% in 2021.
“Irish brewers are now working to return to growth, driven by strong innovation in the sector from established and emerging players. We have seen some interesting trends in recent years like the growth of non-alcoholic beer, which we expect to continue.”