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In 2017, 40 billion litres of beer containing alcohol were produced in the European Union (EU), 1.2 billion litres more than in 2016. In addition, the EU produced nearly 900 million litres (2%) of beer which contained less than 0.5% alcohol or had no alcohol content at all.


Germany, top producer

Two-thirds of the beer containing alcohol produced in the EU came from six Member States. Germany was the top producer in 2017 with a production of 8.1 billion litres (or 20% of the EU total production). In other words, about one in every five beers containing alcohol produced in the EU originated from Germany. Germany was followed by the United Kingdom (5.6 billion litres produced, or 14%), Poland (4.0 bn litres, or 10%), Spain (3.6 bn litres, or 9%), the Netherlands (2.7 bn litres, or 7%) and Belgium (2.4 bn litres or 6%).

Compared with 2016, the United Kingdom (+14%) recorded the highest increase in the production of beer containing alcohol, followed by Portugal (+11%), Italy and Latvia (+8%) and Belgium (+7%). In contrast, the production of beer in Greece fell (-9%), followed by Slovakia (-5%), Bulgaria and Lithuania (both -4%).


Infographic on EU beer producers 2017

The source data is accessible here.


The Netherlands top exporter

The Netherlands exported 1.9 bn litres of beer containing alcohol in 2017. This made it the largest beer exporter of all EU Member States, ahead of Belgium and Germany (both 1.6 bn litres), followed by France (0.7 bn litres) and the United Kingdom (0.6 bn litres).

The United States was by far the main destination for beer exports to non-EU countries (1.1 billion litres of beer containing alcohol exported there in 2017, or 31% of total extra-EU exports of beer). The United States was followed by China (520 million litres, 15%), Canada (210 million litres, 6%), Korea (175 million litres, 5%), Russia (138 million litres, 4%), Switzerland (111 million litres, 3%), Australia (100 million litres, 3%) and Taiwan (95 million litres, 3%).


Top beer exporters, 2017

The source data is accessible here.


Mexican beer heads imports from outside the EU

The internal market for beers containing alcohol that are not produced in the EU is marginal. However, when importing from non EU-countries, EU Member States favoured Mexican beer (211 million litres, or 52% of all extra-EU imports of beer in 2017), ahead of Serbian beer (48 million litres, 12%), US beer (39 million litres, 10%), Belarusian beer (23 million litres, 6%), Chinese beer (16 million litres, 4%), Ukrainian beer (11 million litres, 3%), Russian beer (10 million litres, 3%) and Thai beer (9 million litres, 2%).


This news item was published on World Beer Day on 3 August 2018. The item was updated on 26 November 2018 with revised data on beer production received from the Netherlands.

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