Germany, UK and Poland are Europe's largest beer producers

11 August 2017 2 min. read
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The UK is Europe’s second largest beer producer, according to analysis of data from Eurostat. British brewing was only surpassed by EU memberstate Germany, who were the European Union’s top producers of alcoholic beer.

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. In addition, nearly 900 million litres (2%) contained less than 0.5% alcohol or no alcohol at all were produced in the EU in 2016.

Two-thirds of all alcoholic beer produced in the EU came from just six member states over the previous year. The dominant nation among all others was, perhaps expectedly, major brewing nation Germany, which 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 came out of Germany. The EU’s largest economy was followed by the United Kingdom, with 5.1 billion litres produced, or 13%, ahead of 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%).

Beer production in the European Union (billion liters)

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 dominated the market. Of all the specific beers imported to the European Union, variants like Sol, Desperados and Corona appeared to be the most popular. The Member States jointly imported 179.5 million litres of alcoholic beer from the North American country. Here too Heineken is one of the two major exporters, with brands like Sol and Dos Equis.