60 more microbreweries making beer since 2012

The number of microbreweries in this country has increased from 15 in 2012 to 75 in 2018. That’s according to Bord Bia’s latest report on the craft beer industry in Ireland.

Five additional breweries were operating in 2018. A total of 10 new microbreweries entered the market to mid-2018. In contrast, it is estimated that seven production microbreweries went out of business over the past two years.

Number of breweries in the country

There are approximately 125 microbrewing companies in the Republic of Ireland. 75 of these are independent production microbreweries, while at least 50 of these are brand owners that source their product from production microbreweries.

How much are these breweries producing?

157,000hl (hectolitres) of craft beer were produced by independent production microbreweries in 2017. This is an increase of 10.7% from 2017 when the amount stood at 142,000hl.

Growth has slowed down. Approximately 20% of microbreweries had a reduced level of output in 2017. In 2016, output rose by 31%, while output climbed by 56% in 2015.

At 157,000hl, these microbreweries are producing approximately 1.9% of the total beer produced in Ireland – 8.02 million hectolitres in 2017.

However, of those 157,000hl a total of 126,500hl were consumed in the domestic market. Craft beer, therefore, accounted for 2.6% of domestic beer consumption. In 2017, a total of 4.48 million hectolitres of beer were consumed in Ireland.

The total turnover of the craft beer industry was estimated at €44.3 million in 2017, up 10.9% on 2016.

Potential for growth

The capacity of the microbrewing production companies is approximately 320,000hl. This means that the capacity utilisation rate is just 49.5%, giving potential for growth in the sector.

At present 522 people are employed by production microbreweries in Ireland. 364 of these employees are full-time.