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European beer statistics

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These statistics come from the trade association for European breweries. I've also got US statistics and I'll post those in a few days. Just so no one is disappointed: the two trade associations don't necessarily measure the same things.

The statistics were published in 2012, but contain data up to 2011. The 2013 report has not been published yet.

Generally speaking, beer consumption in Europe is declining, but by small amounts.

The list begins (alphabetically) on a positive note: Austria (historically a beer country) saw production go from 8728 in 2009 to 8917 in 2011 (thousand hectoliters). Per capita beer consumption also rose from 106.5 in 2009 to 108.1 in 2011 (liters).

Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Romania all experienced increased per capita beer consumption. All, except Norway, are in eastern Europe. The Czech Republic, which is also in eastern Europe saw a decline from 149 to 145 liters, but was still the highest per capita in Europe.

Interestingly, beer production is not tied to beer consumption. Estonia, for example, had a large increase in beer production (1234 to 1360 (thousand hectoliters), yet consumption dropped from 85.4 to 71.6 (liters) over the same period - one of the largest drops in Europe.

Among the traditional beer producing countries of Europe (Ireland, Great Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic), consumption was either slightly down or level, yet production, in quite a few cases, increased.

In Scandinavia, beer production increased in Denmark, increased a very small amount in Sweden, but declined in Norway. On the consumption side it was the opposite: four liter increase per capita in Norway and a seven liter decline in Denmark and less than 2 liter decline in Sweden.

In both France and Italy (traditionally wine countries), production increased, though the total volume was still very small. Per capita there was very little change - one liter per capita higher or lower.

Much of the change in production/consumption is due to export. All of the traditional beer countries saw large increases in export sales. Belgium exports more than half of the beer it produces, as does the Netherlands. Virtually all countries in this category (except the Czech Republic and th Netherlands) saw increases in exports. Estonia (see above) almost doubled their exports (from 262 to 479 thousand hl). France, though not a traditional brewing country also increased exports substantially (from 2200 to 2984 thousand hl).

However the champion exporter must be Slovakia, which went from 37 to 157.2 (thousand hl) in those two years.

The first year listed in the statistics (2009) was, of course, influenced by the world-wide economic factors. I also have statistics for 2003-2009 and among some countries, production steadily increased until 2008 or 9, however, per capita consumption was almost universally in decline between 2003 and 2011.

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