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The Impact of Craft Beer on the Irish Economy

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The Impact of Craft Beer on the Irish Economy

The Impact of Craft Beer on the Irish Economy
August 31
09:04 2015

The Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland, in association with Bord Bia (Irish Food Board), has launched its second report on the impact of Irish craft beer on the Irish economy. The 2015 edition reports strong continuous growth within the Irish craft beer market both domestically and internationally. Economist Bernard Feeney also explores the potential future growth expectations of the market by drawing comparisons with more matured international counterparts.

“Since 2011, Irish microbreweries’ output has risen more than threefold and given the influx of new firms in 2014 and the industry’s expansion plans, output is expected to rise substantially again this year,” points out Bord Bia’s Karen Tyner. “The craft beer market accounts for just 1.2% of total Irish beer production and based on current trends and growth forecasts, it is likely to increase to reach 3.3% over the next two years, providing a really positive outlook for the industry.”

Key findings from this research include:

* There are 63 microbreweries operating in Ireland, of which 48 are production microbreweries and 15 are contracting companies. There has been a 50% increase in the number of production microbreweries from 32 in mid-2014 to 48 in mid-2015. As many as 22 new production microbreweries commenced production in 2014. By end year 2015, the total number of production microbreweries may have risen to approximately 58.

* The output of craft beer by production microbreweries amounted to some 86,000 hl in 2014.  This *represents a 71% increase on the 2013 figure of 49,000hl. Between 2011 and 2014, the output of production microbreweries rose by more than threefold. Given the influx of new firms in 2014 and capacity expansion among older firms, output is expected to rise substantially in 2015 to 145,000hl, an increase of over 70%. Microbreweries are forecasting a further 64% increase in output to 241,000hl in 2016.

* Of the total microbrewery production of 86,000 hl in 2014, an estimated 21,400hl was exported, representing almost 25 % of the total. This is an almost doubling of export volumes since 2013. Some two-thirds of microbreweries are already exporting, albeit many of them on a small scale as yet. On average, microbreweries are targeting an export share of almost 50% of total production.

* Given the growth in microbrewery production to 86,000hl in 2014, the share of craft beer in total beer production was 1.2% in 2014. With the current and anticipated trends in craft beer production, the Irish craft beer market share is likely to reach 2.0% and 3.3% in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The turnover of craft beer producers in 2014 is estimated at €23m and at a projected €39.6m for 2015. Five microbreweries had a turnover of more than €1m in 2014.

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