Beer saw another weak year in 2021 with volume sales declining marginally as the on-trade continued to struggle from pandemic restrictions. Social distancing rules, vaccine passports and facemasks were compulsory in on-trade until December 2021, negatively impacting the numbers of guests and the drinking experience in pubs.
Non-alcoholic beer accounts for a very limited volume share of the beer market in Ireland and is not expected to grow this significantly in the near future. Nevertheless, there is growing consumer interest as across much of Western Europe and manufacturers are responding with new launches.
While the COVID-19 pandemic naturally prompted a significant shift to home beer consumption, there was a general move in this direction even before 2020. Now that consumers have experienced the benefits of at-home socialising, particularly the money saved, this could lead to an acceleration in the shift towards retail in the longer term.
Beer manufacturers will finally see the resurgence in on-trade consumption in 2022 they have been waiting for. With COVID-19 restrictions discontinued and a full re-opening taking place in 2022, bars, pubs and clubs will be greeted by the Irish enthusiastically.
Amid a pattern of declining beer consumption, Ireland’s new alcohol legislation is generally not favourable to beer and could well hinder off-trade volume sales further. Minimum unit pricing laws that came into effect in 2022 are expected to push up the price of lager.
Craft beers account for a fairly limited share of the beer volumes in Ireland. The on-trade collapse has hit the craft sector particularly hard, since micro-brewers relied heavily on on-trade sales prior to the pandemic.
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An alcoholic drink usually brewed from malt, sugar, hops and water and fermented with yeast. Some beers are made by fermenting a cereal, especially barley, and therefore not flavoured by hops. Alcohol content for beer is varied – anything up to and over 14% ABV (alcohol by volume), although 3.5% to 5% is most common. Beer is the aggregation of lager, dark beer, stout and non/low alcohol beer.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Beer research and analysis database.
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