Page 10 - Craft Beer and Independent Microbreweries in Ireland 2018
P. 10

Executive Summary

      Some 42% of microbreweries indicated are engaged in exporting. However, the
      quantities are often very small. Four microbreweries accounted for 75% of all
      exports by volume in 2017.

      The current (2017) capacity of the microbrewing production companies is
      approximately 320,000hl. Capacity in the sector is high relative to output, with a
      capacity utilisation rate of 49.5%.  Unused capacity is approximately 160,000hl
      Production microbreweries in Ireland currently (mid-2018) employ an estimated
      522 people.  Of the total of 522 persons employed, 364 represent full time jobs.
      Employment on a full time equivalent (FTE) basis has increased from 411 in 2017
      to 425 in 2018.

      Indirect employment in enterprises supplying the sector was estimated at 442
      persons for 2018. This means that every person employed in production micro-
      brewing is matched by at least another in the wider economy that supplies the
      industry. Induced employment is estimated to amount to 97 persons for 2018. On
      this basis, the craft brewing industry supports 960 jobs in Ireland.

      There are microbreweries in operation in 24 of the 26 counties, with the
      exception of Westmeath and Offaly. Employment in the micro-brewing industry
      is thus very widely dispersed throughout the country. Microbreweries are sited in
      rural as well as urban areas, which enhances the local employment effect.
      There is substantial potential, based on international experience, for further
      development of the Irish craft beer industry in terms of both numbers and
      output. There is currently substantial unused capacity and more is planned.  This
      could facilitate major output growth in the short to medium term, if the growth in
      demand is strong.

      However, the current state of the market gives cause for concern. There is now
      evidence of significant brewery failures. The growth in output from the sector
      has slowed dramatically and one in five microbreweries experienced a decline
      in output in 2017.  Irish microbreweries have yet to make significant inroads in
      export markets.
      There is a need to research issues affecting the microbrewing sector. In particular,
      research into consumer preferences and perceptions of craft beer would be
      useful, as well as an in-depth and fact-based study of beer distribution in Ireland.

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