According to data by Eurostat to coincide with international beer day, Germany is the biggest producer of the much-loved beverage, with production hitting 8.3 billion litres in 2018, figures that represent 21% of the beer market in the EU.
The UK was the second-biggest producer 4.5 billion litres of beer brewed over the course of the year. Britain was followed by Poland’s 4.0 billion litres, 3.9 billion litres from Spain, and 2.4 billion litres each from the Netherlands and Belgium.
Traditionally a wine-producing superpower, Italy saw its beer production increased by 21% in 2018. Hungary and the Czech Republic – two nations with centuries-old beer traditions – each saw their production significantly tick upwards.
Though the UK and the Netherlands still made it onto the list of top producers, the two joined Austria and Slovakia as the countries that registered the largest drop in production.
Despite the production decrease, the Netherlands exported 1.9 billion litres of beer in 2018, making the Dutch, Europe’s top beer exporters. Trailing closely behind the Netherlands were Belgium and Germany, with each having exported 1.6 billion litres of beer.
The main importers of beer made in Europe include the US, which received 1 billion litres – roughly 29% of all exports from the EU – of beer in 2018. The Chinese were the second biggest importers of European-made beer, having brought in 453 million litres in 2018.
Russia, Canada, South Korea, Australia, and Taiwan were the European beer market’s other main buyers.