Alcohol consumption

Irish alcohol consumption down after carrier pandemic rush

The level of alcohol consumption in Ireland is falling, according to new data from the Revenue Commissioners.

The study shows that alcohol consumption in Ireland has fallen again, with sales of beer and cider particularly affected by the closure and ongoing restrictions in pubs, restaurants and bars, in towns and cities across the country.

Every category of alcohol has seen declining sales since before the pandemic, with total sales down more than 10% in the past two years.

Data shows that for the first nine months of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020 when most people were locked down and hospitality was closed, beer sales were down 3.6% while sales of wine fell by 13.0%.

Cider sales are also down 11.8% and total alcohol sales down 6.4%. The only alcohol sales to increase were those of spirits, up 0.4%.

The comparison between the first nine months of 2021 and the same period in 2019, before the pandemic hit, is even more striking.

Beer sales down 17.8%, spirits sales down 0.8%, wine sales down 1.4%, cider sales down 20.3 % and total alcohol sales down 10.4%.

Drinks Ireland director Patricia Callan said: “These data show that the long-term trend of declining alcohol consumption is continuing, but this decline has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the lockdown and restrictions in courses on the hotel sector.

“Having endured the strictest lockdown in Europe, it is not surprising to see this dramatic fall. The fall is even more dramatic against the backdrop of alarmist and misguided claims at various times over the past two years that alcohol consumption was increasing or even skyrocketing – it just wasn’t happening.”