A decade-long decline in beer consumption has largely halted

A decade-long decline in beer consumption has largely halted

Beer consumption in Ireland fell slightly last year, but the country's brewers were helped by growing export demand, a new report has revealed.

The Irish Brewers Association study, released earlier today (27 July), showed that domestic consumption dropped by around 2% in 2011. However, the group said a decade-long drop in beer sales and consumption has "largely slowed". 

Domestic production grew by 3%, while net exports rose from 42% to 45%, the report said. 

In 2011, lager accounted for 61% of beer consumption, stout 33% and ale 6%.

“This report contains broadly positive news for Ireland’s brewing sector," said senior executive of the Irish Brewers Association, Thomas Burke. "Although domestic sales are down marginally, the decrease is relatively minor compared to recent years. Net exports are up, and production in Ireland’s breweries has increased as well." 

The report revealed that Ireland’s per capita beer consumption stands at around 86 litres. 

The group also noted a continued shift towards off-sales, which now account for 35% of all beer sales.

Beer accounted for 47% of all Ireland's alcohol sales in 2011, a 1% drop from the previous year, the report showed. Wine accounted for 26% of consumption, spirits 19% and cider 8%. 

Total tax receipts from beer in Ireland fell to EUR307m (US$379.8m) from EUR320 in 2010, the report said.