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Irish Craft Beer Consumption Has Risen By 13.5% Since 2017

By Donna Ahern
Irish Craft Beer Consumption Has Risen By 13.5% Since 2017

Consumption of Irish craft beer has risen by 13.5%, since 2017, a new report shows.

According to research conducted by Bord Bia, there are currently 12 craft cider producers in Ireland, and craft cider production accounts for 2.2% of total domestic cider consumption.

Highlighting the importance of local business, Irish cider producers generated over 50% of sales within 50 kilometres of the producers’ premises.

On average 52.9% of apples and pears used in craft products are sourced from the producers’ own orchard.

Commenting on the report, Jennifer Wallace of Drinks Ireland, said, "Growth in the craft beer and cider categories brings great choice for consumers and exciting innovations.


"These businesses, spread throughout the country, are important local employers and catalysts of economic activity in their locality.

"Many too are developing their tourism offering".

Room For Growth 

Bord Bia noted that beyond Ireland’s shores there is plenty of room for growth.

Export market performance has almost doubled since 2017.


It was reported that 60,300 hectolitres of craft beer were exported in 2022 compared with 30,500 hectolitres in 2017. France, Italy and the UK were identified as the most high-potential markets.

Half of micro-brewers do not currently export, but two-thirds of these intend to export in the next three years.

James Dunne, board director at Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland and operations director at Galway Bay Brewery, said, “It’s reassuring that the craft beer market is growing albeit at a low rate.

"It’s also reassuring that we see that exports are growing strongly and that’s a key focus for Irish craft beer companies.

"In particular, the focus on the green economy and sustainability is always key for exports.”


Most Common Challenge

Brewers have commented that by far the most common challenge in the sector was in the on-trade by difficulties in gaining access to taps.

Over 90% of micro-brewers consider sustainability as extremely or very important to their company, the data indicated.

Four of the seven craft cider producers in Ireland rated sustainability as being extremely important to their company, with the remaining three producers considering it very important.

Michael Jacob, drinks sector manager at Bord Bia, said, "We want to continue to support our client companies in growth of the sector, both nationally and internationally.

"For us its fantastic to see the focus on sustainability in both sectors as well.”

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