Be it a furrowed brow or a ploughed field, seek the warmth of friends after your day’s labours. 

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the wine sector employed over 1,100 people directly while supporting thousands of other jobs in Ireland’s the 13,000 restaurants, independent off-licences, supermarkets, and hotels that sell wine.

Sold predominantly in the off trade (approximately 83% in 2019) wine is an important part of the wider drinks economy.

  • The drinks industry is an important part of the hospitality sector which employs over 170,000 Irish people in work.
  • In addition to the drinks related employment in the hospitality sector, the drinks industry generates 8,800 jobs in beverage manufacturing, about 6,000 jobs in off licences and additional jobs in visitor attractions and wholesale distribution.
  • The drinks industry has a presence right across the country, which ensures employment is spread across rural communities.
  • Exporting to over 120 countries, drinks companies provide global employment opportunities to Irish graduates.
  • Employment opportunities in the drinks sector include science, marketing, sales, manufacturing, tourism, logistics and many more.
  • Many of Ireland’s whiskey distilleries in provincial towns have moved into vacant industrial premises, replacing the enterprises that had previously operated there, as well as lost jobs.


The Experience Economy
The sector contributes €4.5 billion in wages, salaries and employment taxes every year and more than 330,000 people are either employed directly or supported directly by demand from the sector. It accounts for one-fifth of all private sector employment.  Irish drinks companies are significant contributors to the Experience Economy.

Furthermore, for every one hundred jobs created directly in Ireland’s Experience Economy, another thirty-eight are supported elsewhere in the Irish economy. The sector has also played a major role in developing the all-island economy and has been an important source of employment North and South of the border.