Alcohol consumption fell by almost 20% in first three months of 2021

May 26, 2021

New Revenue Clearance figures for the first quarter of 2021 (January - March) show that alcohol consumption declined by 19.7%, compared with the same period last year, due to the closure of the hospitality sector.

Beer sales were the hardest hit, down by 34.5%, while cider sales also saw a substantial fall by 15.9%.

Typically, around 60% of beer sales and 45% of cider sales are in Ireland’s pubs, restaurants, and hotels, according to Drinks Ireland, which represents Ireland’s drinks manufactures and suppliers.

There was a fall, however, across all categories, and the new Revenue figures show that spirits sales fell by 8.2% and wine sales were down by 3.4%.

Irish pubs closed for the first time in the middle of March last year, which hit sales at the time, so this new data illustrates a further fall.

Overall, alcohol consumption declined last year by 6.6% to its lowest level in thirty years.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said:
“This new Revenue data clearly shows that alcohol consumption continues to substantially decline in Ireland as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite commentary to the contrary.

“While this decline was accelerated by Covid, it should be noted that is in line with the trend of consumption falling generally in Ireland over the past 30 years. The average alcohol consumption in 2020 was 29.8% lower than the peak of 2001.”


Media contact – Colin Taylor, Q4PR, 0864671748