Irish alcohol consumption on the slide after pandemic porter rush

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

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

Every category of alcohol has seen a fall in sales since before the pandemic, with total sales down by over 10% in the last two years.

The 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 wine sales are down 13.0%.

Cider sales are also down 11.8% with total alcohol sales down 6.4%. The only alcohol sales to rise were spirits, up 0.4%.

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

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

Drinks Ireland Director, Patricia Callan said: “This data shows the long-term trend in falling alcohol consumption continuing, but that fall has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the shuttering of and ongoing restrictions on the hospitality sector.

“Having endured the strictest lockdown in Europe, it is hardly surprising to see this dramatic fall. The fall is even more dramatic in the context of alarmist and erroneous claims at various times in the last two years that alcohol consumption was rising or even soaring – it simply was not.”

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