Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

Ireland Beer & Cider Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Beer & Cider market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Issues covered in this Report

This Report will examine the sale and consumption of beer throughout the IoI (island of Ireland) in both the on-trade and off-trade. On-trade refers to any licensed premises that permits the sale and consumption of alcohol within these premises. Off-trade refers to any licensed retailer, including supermarkets, that sell alcohol for off-site consumption.

For the purpose of this Report, the beer market is divided into three categories:

  • Lager can broadly be described as a light/amber, clear, carbonated beer, brewed with pale-kilned malts, which, after fermentation, is filtered, pasteurised and conditioned before being packaged in cans, bottles or kegs for sale. This is, however, a very broad definition, and as consumers’ tastes become more sophisticated, there is a growing interest in darker lagers using different malts, sometimes referred to as red and black lagers, organic beers and even fruit-flavoured lagers.
  • Ale is sometimes referred to by consumers as mild or bitter, but the term ‘ale’ is used throughout this Report. This refers to top-fermented beers that are traditionally described as British or Irish, ie bitter and mild, packaged light, pale, export and brown ales, stout, porter, barley wine and strong ales, as well as Indian and American pale ales, among others. These beers are so called because the yeast floats to the surface during fermentation, as opposed to lagers, which are bottom-fermented. Barley wine is simply a beer with a very high ABV (Alcohol by Volume).
  • Stout is a derivative of porter, originally an 18th century brown mild ale. Stout is a black, dense beer, which is usually top-fermented, and made with dark roasted barley and an abundance of hops, which provide the characteristic flavour.

What you need to know

Increasingly, Irish consumers are looking for more unique and different flavour profiles from the beers and ciders they drink, to the benefit of craft breweries, which are able to offer something a little different from the standard lagers and apple ciders – but at a premium price. However, moving forward, with Brexit still creating unease on both sides of the border, it will become more difficult for beer and cider brands to encourage consumers to spend more per drink.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Brian O'Connor, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

2017 saw the value sales of beer and cider increase on the back of improving consumer confidence in RoI. Moving forward into 2018 and beyond, premiumisation continues to drive the market, with craft being the key contributor. Brian O'Connor
Senior Consumer Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Estimated total beer market, by segment, IoI, 2018
            • Figure 2: Estimated total cider sales, NI and RoI, 2013-18
          • Forecast
            • Figure 3: Indexed estimated beer and cider sales, IoI, 2013-23
          • Market factors
            • UK and RoI beer excises among the highest in Europe
              • Beer prices rising in pubs and bars
                • Foodservice an important revenue stream for the on-trade
                  • Most Irish consumers upbeat on personal finances for the year ahead
                    • Companies and innovations
                      • The consumer
                        • Lager and stout top beers
                          • Figure 4: Types of beer consumers have drunk in home or out of home in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • Apple continues to be key cider flavour
                          • Figure 5: Types of cider drunk in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • While visiting a pub and relaxing at home key beer and cider drinking occasions
                          • Figure 6: Occasions on which consumers have drunk beer and cider in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                        • Premium must be worth the price: taste is all important
                          • Figure 7: Agreement with statements relating to beer and cider, NI and RoI, March 2018
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • Irish beer sales continue to grow in 2018
                          • High excise rates on beer a threat to on-trade sales
                            • Beer prices rising in pubs, declining in the off-trade
                              • Food pairing opportunity for pubs and brands
                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • RoI sees stronger beer value growth from 2016-17
                                    • Figure 8: Total beer sales, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                  • RoI on-trade increases, falls in NI
                                    • Figure 9: Total on-trade beer sales, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                    • Figure 10: Total overseas visitors to RoI and visitors from GB, January 2016-April 2018
                                  • Beer off-trade sees increased spending in 2017
                                    • Figure 11: Total off-trade beer sales, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                  • Volume sales decrease from 2016-17
                                    • Figure 12: Total beer sales, by volume (LPA), on-trade and off-trade, IoI, 2013-23
                                  • Cider continues to see strong value sales in 2017
                                    • Figure 13: Total cider sales, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                  • Cider growth set to be slow but steady in terms of value
                                    • Figure 14: Total off-trade vs. on-trade cider sales, by value, IoI, NI and RoI, 2013-23
                                  • Cider volume sales increase in off-trade, remain similar in on-trade
                                    • Figure 15: Total cider sales, by volume, on-trade and off-trade, IoI, 2013-23
                                • Market Segmentation

                                    • Lager set to benefit from World Cup in 2018
                                      • Figure 16: Total lager sales, by value, IoI, off-trade and on-trade, 2013-23
                                    • Stout sees decline in on-trade performance
                                      • Figure 17: Total stout sales, by value, IoI, off-trade and on-trade, 2013-23
                                    • Ale continues to benefit from the craft trend
                                      • Figure 18: Total ale sales, by value, IoI, off-trade and on-trade, 2013-23
                                      • Figure 19: Estimated market value of craft beer market, Europe, 2012-18
                                  • Market Drivers

                                    • On-trade prices continue to increase
                                      • Figure 20: Consumer price indices for beer, on-trade and off-trade, RoI, January 2013-February 2018
                                      • Figure 21: Consumer price indices for beer, UK (including NI), January 2013-April 2018
                                    • Beer excise remains at 2017 levels, but high beer prices might hamper tourism
                                      • Figure 22: UK and RoI excise duty rates per pint of beer (4% ABV) and cider (up to 7.5%), 2012-18
                                      • Figure 23: Selected European beer excise rates, July 2017
                                      • Figure 24: How overseas visitors spent their money when visiting Ireland, 2017
                                    • Pub an increasingly important foodservice venue
                                      • Figure 25: Estimated revenue of foodservice sales via pub channels, NI and RoI, 2016 and 2017
                                      • Figure 26: Consumers who have visited a pub in the last month, NI and RoI, August 2016
                                    • Pub grub offers meal pairing opportunity
                                      • NI consumers still negative about future economic improvement
                                        • Figure 27: How consumers think the general economic condition of the country will change over the next 12 months, NI, April 2017-March 2018
                                        • Figure 28: How consumers think their personal financial situation will change over the next 12 months, NI, April 2017-March 2018
                                      • RoI consumers more positive about both economy and personal finances
                                        • Figure 29: How consumers think the general economic condition of the country will change over the next 12 months, RoI, April 2017-March 2018
                                        • Figure 30: How consumers think their personal financial situation will change over the next 12 months, RoI, April 2017-March 2018
                                    • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                      • Diageo launching new craft-style beers through its Open Gate Brewery
                                        • Cider market becoming more competitive thanks to new mainstream brand launches from Heineken
                                          • Rising demand for Irish craft beer as Porterhouse and Whitewater secure new export business
                                            • BrewDog outgrows its craft status as its bar and brewery portfolio grows and IPO looms
                                            • Who’s Innovating?

                                              • Ethical claims dominate top 10, consumers attracted to higher-end products
                                                • Figure 31: Claims analysis of new beer and cider products launched, UK and Ireland, January 2014-April 2018
                                              • Smaller cans becoming more prevalent, especially amongst craft brands
                                                • Low-alcohol beer and cider launches increasing
                                                  • Figure 32: New products launches in the UK and Ireland claiming to be low-alcohol, January 2014-April 2018
                                                • World’s first ‘blockchain beer’ being brewed in NI
                                                  • Cider flavours heavily focused on fruit, but can take inspiration from botanicals
                                                    • Figure 33: Flavour analysis of new cider products, excluding unflavoured/plain, UK and Ireland, January 2014-April 2018
                                                • Companies and Brands

                                                    • AB InBev
                                                      • Key facts
                                                        • Product portfolio
                                                          • Brand NPD
                                                            • Recent developments
                                                              • Diageo
                                                                • Key facts
                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                    • Brand NPD
                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                        • Molson Coors
                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                              • Brand NPD
                                                                                • Recent developments
                                                                                  • The Cantrell & Cochrane Group (C&C)
                                                                                    • Key facts
                                                                                      • Product portfolio
                                                                                        • Brand NPD
                                                                                          • Recent developments
                                                                                            • Heineken Ireland
                                                                                              • Key facts
                                                                                                • Product portfolio
                                                                                                  • Brand NPD
                                                                                                    • Recent developments
                                                                                                      • BrewDog
                                                                                                        • Key facts
                                                                                                          • Product portfolio
                                                                                                            • Recent developments
                                                                                                              • Craft beer and cider companies
                                                                                                                • The Porterhouse Brewing Company
                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                                        • Whitewater Brewery
                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                • Long Meadow Cider
                                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                                    • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                                                        • Hilden Brewery
                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                            • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                              • Carlow Brewing
                                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                  • Product portfolio
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                    • Four in 10 drink lager
                                                                                                                                                      • NI cider drinkers have more diverse taste profiles than RoI
                                                                                                                                                        • Half relax at home while drinking beer/cider
                                                                                                                                                          • Taste is king among beer/ cider drinkers
                                                                                                                                                          • Usage of Beer

                                                                                                                                                              • Lager remains the key beer category in 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 34: Types of beer consumers have drunk in home or out of home in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Lager sees strongest use among middle-aged
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 35: Consumers who have drunk lager (eg Harp Heineken) in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 36: Consumers who have drunk fruit-flavoured beer (eg Früli) the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Stout embraced by 18-24s
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 37: Consumers who have drunk stout in the last three months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Low-alcohol and low-sugar beers see very little usage
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 38: Consumers who have drunk low-sugar/low-calorie or low-alcohol/non-alcoholic beer in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Selected statements on how consumers manage their sugar intake, NI and RoI, June 2017
                                                                                                                                                            • Usage of Cider

                                                                                                                                                                • NI consumers favour more diverse cider flavour profiles, especially fruit-flavoured cider
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 40: Types of cider drunk in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 41: Consumers who have drunk apple cider vs lager in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, April 2017
                                                                                                                                                                • NI consumers much more likely to drink fruit-flavoured cider than RoI consumers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 42: Consumers who have drunk fruit-flavoured cider in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 43: Consumers who have drunk fruit-flavoured cider in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                              • Occasions for Drinking Beer and Cider

                                                                                                                                                                  • Pub visit key location for drinking beer and cider
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Occasions on which consumers have drunk beer and cider in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • The pub key for beer and cider drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Consumers have drunk beer and/or cider in a pub or bar in the last three months, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Over-45s more likely to drink beer/ cider when relaxing at home
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Consumers have drunk beer and/or cider at home while relaxing in the last three months, by age, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Beer and cider drunk with meals
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Consumers have drunk beer and/or cider with a meal in and out of home in the last three months, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                • Attitudes towards Beer and Cider

                                                                                                                                                                    • Taste is key to spending more on beer and cider
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 48: Agreement with statements relating to beer and cider, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Less affluent consumers will only pay more for taste
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Agreement with the statement ‘I'm only willing to pay more for beer/cider if I can easily taste the difference compared to cheaper equivalents’, by age and social group, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Agreement with the statement ‘I am prepared to pay more for craft beers/ ciders (ie made by a small-scale brewer)’, by social group, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Aged beers and ciders capture the interest of men
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be interested in trying a beer or cider aged in an oak barrel’, by gender, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Over half of consumers want the new and unusual from beers and ciders
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Agreement with selected statement relating to beer/cider innovation, NI and RoI, March 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Food waste used to brew could appeal to environmentally conscious?
                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                      • Definition
                                                                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                          • Generational cohorts
                                                                                                                                                                            • Abbreviations