Alcohol consumption is down so far this year, according to new Revenue clearance data, which shows a fall of 4.5% between January and September, compared to the same period last year.

The figures show that beer sales were hit hardest, due to the fact that the majority of beer is usually consumed in restaurants and pubs which have been shut for a period of time due to restrictions.

Between January and September, beer consumption fell by almost 15% compared to 2019.

Looking specifically at Q3, which covers July to September, it was down by 17.2%.

In 2019, 62.7% of beer was consumed in the on-trade, with 37.3% consumed from the off-trade.

The figures show that cider consumption also dropped dramatically for the same reason, down by 9.6% between January and September 2020, and by 14.1% in Q3.

Spirits sales also fell, albeit less drastically, recording a drop of 4.4% between July-September 2020.

The only category that saw an increase was wine, but this did not offset the overall fall in alcohol consumption.

Generally, over 80% of wine is consumed in the off-trade.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said the drinks sector has been significantly impacted by Covid-19.

"The new Revenue data confirms that alcohol consumption fell between Q1 and Q3 as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, despite some suggestions to the contrary. This was as a result of pubs, restaurants and hotels being closed for periods of time, or having to operate when they were open with restrictions in place," she said.