The latest data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has shown a remarkable surge in beer production within the EU, with a substantial 7% year-on-year increase. This surge brings the beer production levels across the bloc nearly on par with pre-pandemic figures. The total beer production for the last year reached an impressive 343 million hectoliters (hl) compared to 347 million hl in 2019.
The data also shed light on the beer consumption habits of Europeans. On average, every inhabitant of the European Union consumed approximately 80 liters of beer, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, over the course of the year.
Taking a closer look at the beer production landscape, the top beer-producing country in Europe remained by far Germany, followed by Spain and Poland. Here is a breakdown of the key players:
1. Germany: Leading the Brew
Germany stands as the frontrunner in the beer production race, accounting for over a fifth (22.2%) of the total beer production in the EU. An astounding 76 million hl of beer were produced in Germany last year, nearly a quarter of all EU-produced beers. Remarkably, Germany's beer prowess extends beyond its borders, as it also stands as a major beer exporter, with 15 million hl of its brews finding their way to international markets.
2. Spain: Brewing Success
Spain secured the second spot with a production of 39 million hl, contributing around 11.5% of the EU's total beer production.
3. Poland: A Growing Player
Poland clinched the third position, producing 37 million hl of beer, which accounts for approximately 11% of the total EU beer production.
4. Netherlands: Home of Heineken
The Netherlands, home to the renowned Heineken brand, brewed a substantial 26 million hl of beer, making it the fourth-largest beer producer within the EU. Impressively, the Netherlands holds the distinction of being the biggest exporter of beer within the union with 26 million hl the same amount of beer as consumed domestically.
5. France: A Flavorful Contribution
France secured the fifth place, contributing around 5.9% of the total beer production in the EU, with an annual production of 20 million hl.
6. Belgium: Quality and Exports
While exact data from Eurostat about the size of the Belgian beer industry isn't available, estimates suggest an annual production of 20 million hl. Notably, Belgium's prowess lies in its beer exports, totaling 16 million hl in the previous year, even exceeding exports from Germany but lacking behind the Netherlands.
7. Italy: A Growing Presence
Italy, with an annual production of 19 million hl, earned the title of the seventh-largest beer producer within the EU.
8. Czechia: A Reputation for Quality
Czechia, known for its longstanding reputation for crafting quality beers, secured the eighth position. The country produced 18 million hl of beer annually, while also exporting 6 million hl of its brews.
9. Romania: A Steady Contribution
Romania's annual beer production of 16 million hl secured its place as the ninth-largest beer producer within the EU.
10. Austria: A Notable Presence
Rounding off the top ten, Austria produced approximately 7.7 million hl of beer in the previous year, as reported by Eurostat.
These statistics paint a picture of the vibrant and diverse beer production landscape across the European Union. The surge in production signals a promising rebound for the beer industry after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As beer production levels return to and even exceed pre-pandemic figures, European brewers are toasting to a brighter future for their beloved brews.