Craft beer production from microbreweries grew 32% by volume last year
24 November 2014
A significant increase in the number of Ireland’s microbreweries has occurred in the last two years, according to a new report commissioned by the Independent Craft Brewers of Ireland (ICBI). It is estimated that there are 33 microbreweries operating in Ireland, the majority of which are microbreweries engaged in own production. At least 17 other microbreweries are at development stage, with the majority expected to be in operation by the end of 2014, when the total number could rise to some 50 microbreweries.
The research shows the output of craft beer by microbreweries amounted to some 49,000 hl in 2013. Based on trends to date, this will rise to 71,000hl in 2014. This contrasts with an equivalent figure of 26,000 in 2011 and 37,000 hl in 2012.These figures indicate that production of beer by microbreweries grew by 32% by volume in 2013 and is set to grow by at least 45% in 2014.
It is estimated that at current (2014) production levels, microbreweries that are in operation are employing 153 people in all; 93 people on a full-time regular basis, 38 on a part-time regular basis, and 22 people on an occasional or seasonal basis. This is 116 employees on a full-time equivalent (FTE) basis.
The micro brewing industry is expected to generate over €1m in income tax and PRSI receipts for the Exchequer in 2014. This rises to €2.8m when indirect and induced tax revenues are taken into account. The micro-brewing sector is very export focused, with Irish craft beer currently being exported to 25 countries. Some 38% of microbreweries are already exporting, albeit many of them on a small scale as yet. Of the total production of 49,000 hl in 2013, an estimated 11,300 hl was exported, representing almost 23% of the total.
Minister Coveney joined Ireland’s leading craft brewers and industry influencers to launch this first official report on microbreweries in Ireland on Wednesday, 19 November.
Seamus O’Hara, spokesperson for the ICBI and of Carlow Brewing Company, said: “Having witnessed the extraordinary growth and development within this industry over the past few years, it is vital step for us, as Irish craft brewers, to set up an official association. A natural first step of an association is to establish an official piece of research on what impact its industry is having on both the national economy and on its operational market.”
The report was researched and written by Bernard Feeney, a respected economic consultant.