The number of craft breweries in Ireland has increased by more than 500% in the last five years, with 72 now in operation, up from just 15 in 2012, according to a new report from Bord Bia.
Employment in these facilities exceeded 500 for the first time ever, which the food board said has given an economic boost to rural communities.
Output from these breweries has also grown significantly, from 37,000hl in 2012 to more than 176,000hl in 2016, representing growth of almost 475%. The volume of production destined for export is estimated at 22% or 39,000hl.
According to the report, both consumption market share, and production market share have each increased by more than 500%. In 2012, the craft beer category recorded consumption market share of just 0.6%, in 2017 that figure reached 3%, while in terms of production craft beer rose from 0.4% in 2012 to 2.3% in 2016.
Bord Bia beverage sector manager Denise Murphy said: “While it is acknowledged that the Irish craft beer category is still very young and that these levels of growth are from a low base, the growth has been sustained over a number of years and looks set to maintain its upward trajectory.
“As the category expands, the importance of export business increases for the sector. Demand for craft beer is rising in most markets around the world, driven by consumer preferences for premium product and artisan production.”
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