Diversification puts fizz into breweries

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Diversification puts fizz into breweries


Pictured at the launch of the DIGI ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Drinks Industry’ report is: Patricia Callan, member of DIGI and Director of ABFI; Tony Foley, DCU economist; Kathryn D’Arcy, member of DIGI and Director of Corporate Affairs at Heineken Ireland; Donall O’Keeffe, Secretary of DIGI and CEO of the LVA and Max Hayes, Commercial Director of Dublin Liberties Distillery
Pictured at the launch of the DIGI ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Drinks Industry’ report is: Patricia Callan, member of DIGI and Director of ABFI; Tony Foley, DCU economist; Kathryn D’Arcy, member of DIGI and Director of Corporate Affairs at Heineken Ireland; Donall O’Keeffe, Secretary of DIGI and CEO of the LVA and Max Hayes, Commercial Director of Dublin Liberties Distillery

The number of Irish breweries producing their own product has increased almost five-fold since 2012, from 15 to 72, according to a new report.

This jump has led to a total increase in microbrewery turnover from €8m in 2012 to €52m in 2016.

The report published by industry body Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) said 14pc of Ireland’s breweries are in Cork, with 10pc in Dublin, and 7pc each for Galway, Wicklow and Donegal.

DIGI secretary Donall O’Keeffe said the Irish drinks industry is innovating and diversifying in response to changing consumer tastes.

“Our drinks industry has proven itself extremely adaptable…manufacturers, large and small, have diversified their offerings, experimented with new ingredients and recipes, and developed lucrative commercial partnerships at home and abroad,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

Growth is being seen not just in beer but also in cider and spirits. DIGI said that in 2013, there were four working whiskey distilleries in Ireland, but by 2017 there were 18, with plans for another 16.

The number of licences granted for cider production increased from three in 2009 to 18 in 2017.

The report also said that many breweries and distilleries are developing visitor centre facilities in an effort to increase product awareness among local and international consumers, and diversify revenue streams.

In a survey of 50 microbreweries, eight already had their own visitor centre facility in place. A further 36 have plans to develop one.

DIGI said the Irish drinks industry employs 92,000 people. It warned of the potential negative impacts a global trade war could have on the industry.

Irish Independent

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