Drinks Ireland|Beer, the representative organisation for beer manufacturers and suppliers in the country, has called on the government for urgent support for Irish pub sector.

The news comes as the Irish government postponed the reopening of pubs and bars to September in a bid to contain the coronavirus.

According to the annual Beer Market Report published by the organisation, Covid-19 pandemic and related on-trade closures have heavily impacted Ireland’s beer sector.

The new provisional revenue clearance data indicates that beer sales plummeted by 17.4% during the second quarter of this year.

Covid-19 pandemic and related on-trade closures heavily impacted Ireland’s beer sector.

Last year, 62.7% of all beer sales were recorded in the on-trade while off-trade sales were 37.3%.  Additionally, the on-trade sector recorded 80% of stout sales, 78% of ale sales and 53% of lager sales.

Between 2018 and 2019, the total beer production fell slightly by 1%. Drinks Ireland|Beer earlier said that the production will be down much more significantly across the sector due to Covid-19 this year.

Drinks Ireland|Beer director Jonathan McDadesaid: “The government needs to set up a task force that is aimed at providing financial support for pubs that remain closed due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“With almost 50% of pubs remaining closed, a strong joined-up Government support package is a priority, to avoid mass closures.

“In recent years and prior to Covid-19, we saw significant innovation in the sector, resulting in more choice than ever for Irish consumers and an increase in the popularity of non-alcoholic beer.

“The sector continued to make an important contribution to the economy in 2019, with €421m in excise receipts and €305m worth of beer exports.”

In April, Drinks Ireland came up with new plan to safeguard the drinks sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic.