Nearly 40 billion litres of beer brewed by EU nations

16 August 2017 2 min. read
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Analysis of data from Eurostat has found that Germany is Europe’s largest beer producer. British breweries were second in their productivity of alcoholic beverages, followed by Poland.

Last year, 39 billion litres of beer containing alcohol were produced in the European Union (EU), 400 million litres more than in 2015. The EU beer production was equivalent to 76 litres per inhabitant. Included in this, the production of light and non-alcoholic beers were also gargantuan, with 2% of that figure, or nearly 900 million litres, containing less than 0.5% alcohol or no alcohol in the EU in 2016.

Two-thirds of all alcoholic beer produced in the European Union came from just six member states over the previous year. The dominant nation among all others was, perhaps expectedly, major brewing nation Germany. The nation has a reputation for being at the pinnacle of European beer-culture, hosting famous brands including Erdinger, Becks and Löwenbräu, while Bavaria’s Oktoberfest annually serves up to 6,900,000 litres (and 169,200 litres of non-alcoholic beverages) alone. Germany as a whole produced a total of 8.3 billion litres (or 21% of the EU total production). In other words, about one in every five beers containing alcohol produced in the EU originated in Germany.

Beer production Europian Union

The EU’s largest economy was followed by the United Kingdom, which brewed 13% of all Europe’s beer, or 5.1 billion litres of beer. Britain were followed by Poland (4.0 billion litres, or 10%), Spain (3.7 billion litres, or 9%), and the Netherlands (2.6 billion litres, or 7%) and Belgium (2.3 billion litres or 6%).

Britain’s high-ranking among the brewery states came despite the news that London-listed SAB-Miller, one of the world’s four largest brewers, had been bought by Belgian brewing conglomerate Ab-InBev, as two of beer’s Big Four were joined through a mega-deal. Heineken, and Denmark's Carlsberg are the other top breweries of Europe. Heineken, a major exporter to the United States, remains the Dutch market leader in the beer industry.

In terms of imports to the EU meanwhile, Mexico continued to dominate the market. Of all the specific beers imported to the EU, variants like Sol, Desperados and Corona were the most popular. The 28 member states jointly imported 179.5 million litres of alcoholic beer from the North American country.