Donegal companies are among those enjoying a flourishing Irish drinks industry, which is now Ireland’s fastest-growing manufacturing industry with a jump of 105% growth in enterprises since 2008. The number of Irish breweries producing their own product has more than quadrupled since 2012, from 15 to 72, according to a new report published today by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI).This quadrupling has led to a total increase in microbrewery turnover from €8 million in 2012 to €52 million in 2016. Donegal has seven breweries, which is one of the highest averages in Ireland. The drinks industry in the county supports 7,443 jobs and brings in wages of €157.7 million per year. There are 405 pubs and hotels in Donegal, according to DIGI’s latest Support Your Local campaign, an initiative designed to demonstrate of the importance of drinks and hospitality industry businesses to the economic, cultural and social fabric of Ireland.The Irish drinks sector is experiencing growth across the beer, cider and spirit categories. In 2013, there were just four working whiskey distilleries in Ireland. By 2017 there were 18, and there are plans for another 16.Ireland’s gin sector, too, is attracting worldwide interest and plans to treble its exports to 400,000 9-litre cases by 2022. The number of licences granted for cider production increased from three in 2009 to 18 in 2017.In response to changing consumer tastes, pubs and off-licences are fostering their own culture of modernity and experimentation. Some off-licences have also brewed their own collaborations with suppliers, including McHugh’s off-licence, who worked with Donegal’s Kinnegar Brewing and Independent Brewing to form RoadTrip IPA, Extra Stout and Whiskey Barrel Aged Stout. Donall O’Keeffe, Secretary of DIGI and CEO of the Licenced Vintners Association, said that the Irish drinks industry is innovating and diversifying in response to changing consumer tastes.“Our drinks industry has proven itself extremely adaptable to ever-changing tastes in consumer behaviour. Manufacturers, large and small, have diversified their offerings, experimented with new ingredients and recipes, and developed lucrative commercial partnerships at home and abroad.”Many breweries and distilleries are developing visitor centre facilities, increasing product awareness among local and international consumers, and opening up additional revenue streams. Kinnegar’s new Letterkenny brewery hosted a ‘Big Day Out at the Brewery’ on Saturday last to mark Indie Beer Week 2018.DIGI’s O’Keeffe believes that the industry’s rapid growth, especially the potential for scaling up the many new enterprises, will be challenged by current global trade considerations and Ireland’s uncompetitive alcohol excise tax policies.He said: “In a challenging international economic environment, with Brexit and growing American protectionism, export development must be supported by a strong market at home. This starts with ensuring that policy measures support growth and we must prioritise reducing the tax burden on Ireland’s fastest-growing manufacturing industry by lowering excise on alcohol.” Microbreweries raise a glass to rapid industry growth was last modified: June 25th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:drinks industry
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Tuesday, I predict the Reserve Bank of Australia is going to cut official interest rates by either .25 per cent or .50 per cent. Look at the official figures. The Reserve follows a whole lot of economic data but the number they focus on is inflation, taken from the Consumer Price Index. The March quarter CPI came out last Tuesday, and it ‘printed’ an inflation number well below what most economists were thinking. The Reserve is bound to use monetary policy to keep inflation in the target range of 2 – 3 per cent. And the March CPI means core inflation becomes around 2.2 per cent. When this is the trend, the economy might need a kick-start, by reducing the price of money – the ‘cash rate’ – and hoping that Australians will spend more. There are other indicators that the Reserve could be looking at. I call these my indicators of the ‘real economy.’ I talk to business owners and I look at the ‘For Lease’ signs, the ‘closing down sale’ signs and the ‘50% off’ specials in shop window. I look for empty shops, car yards with no people in them and bank boards on the pavement that spruik their deposit rates, not their variable mortgage rates. I look at the newspapers: who’s being laid-off? Car workers and bank staff. These indicators tell a story of struggling businesses and cautious consumers. This sort of dynamic can become a nasty spiral if it’s not broken at the right time, because consumers become more cautious with their money and businesses wear the consequences, having to lay-off staff which feeds greater consumer uncertainty and which feeds a worse climate for businesses. With my view of the real economy and the CPI and inflation figures, I think it’s time to break the spiral. When you have large concerns such as Toyota and Harvey Norman talking about a downturn in consumer demand, you have to multiply that stress several times to glimpse what the average small business owner is going through. It’s a dangerous position because our 3.5 million business owners are our biggest employers. We can cut the cash rate, making borrowing easier for business owners and easier for householders. But while you can’t affect what the Reserve Bank does, or what the major banks do, you can use a rate cut to your advantage. If you’re not financially stressed, you can continue to make your normal repayment even after the bank cuts your variable rate. A 0.25 per cent cut on a 30-year $300,000 loan at 7.4 per cent, will save you just over $50 a month, worth $18,000 over the life of the loan. A 0.50 per cent cut will save you $101 per month, worth $36,000 over the life of a loan. You can’t change the RBA or your bank, but you can put the interest rate savings straight back into the mortgage, or put them into a high interest bearing fixed interest account. You can’t change the world but you can make good decisions when the cash rate drops. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on email@example.com any queries you may have.