Here's how Ireland compares to other EU countries in terms of alcohol tax 3 years ago

Here's how Ireland compares to other EU countries in terms of alcohol tax

A new report puts Ireland second in the European Union for alcohol tax.

The study, conducted by DCU's Anthony Foley and published by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) revealed that Ireland has the highest tax on wine, second highest tax on beer and the third highest tax on spirits.


Titled Alcohol Excise Tax in Europe: Where Does Ireland Rank?, the report came to several key findings:

It found that the Irish government charges 80 cents on every 187ml glass of wine, a standard measure in a bar or restaurant. France, in comparison, charges just one cent. 14 of the 28 EU member states, including Italy, Germany and Portugal, charge no excise on wine whatsoever.

Beer is much the same story across the board. While a pint of lager served in a German pub comes with an excise levy of just 5 cents, the same drink poured in Ireland has a levy of 55 cents — 11 times the tax.

Ireland’s levy on cider is double that of the UK’s  — €94.46 vs €45.51 per hectolitre of product.


Finland has the highest overall excise tax in Europe (€3,941 per hectolitre of pure alcohol (HLPA)), followed by Ireland (€3,458 per HLPA), Sweden (€3,094 per HLPA), and the UK (€2,782 per HLPA). Estonia, despite being the member state with the fifth highest alcohol excise tax (€1,848 per HLPA), has a rate nearly 50% lower than Ireland’s.

So if you've noticed yourself pay less money for alcohol abroad, this might be why.

Minimum alcohol pricing has been a core tenet of Ireland's current Department of Health policy, and alcohol is often targeted as a taxable good come the annual budget.