In 2021, EU Member States produced 33.1 billion litres of beer containing alcohol and almost 1.7 billion litres of beer containing less than 0.5% alcohol or which had no alcohol content at all.
Compared to 2020 there was a boost in the EU’s production of beer overall to the equivalent of nearly 78 litres per inhabitant.
Germany: top beer producer
Among those EU Member States with data available, Germany again emerged the top producer in 2021 at 7.5 billion litres (23% of total EU production). This means that about one in every four beers containing alcohol produced in the EU originated in Germany.
Germany was followed by Poland and Spain, both producing around 3.7 billion litres or 11% of the EU total. The Netherlands produced 2.5 billion litres or 7% of total EU production. Together, these four countries produce 52% of the EU’s total beer production.
Top exporter: Netherlands
Trade data show that the Netherlands continued to lead as the top exporter of beer containing alcohol in 2021, exporting a total (intra- and extra-EU) of 1.9 bn litres of beer and accounting for 21% of total EU beer exports.
Belgium followed the Netherlands, exporting 1.7 bn litres or 19% of the EU’s total beer exports, followed by Germany (1.6 bn litres or 17%), France and The Czech Republic (both 0.5 bn litres or 6%).
The UK topped a list of the main non-EU country destinations for these beer exports, importing 902 million litres (or 22% of total extra-EU beer exports) and the US imported 765 million litres or 19% of the total ex-EU beer exports, followed by Russia (391 million litres or 9%), China (340 million litres or 8%) and South Korea (168 million litres or 4%).
At 800 million litres France continued to be the largest EU Member importer of beer containing alcohol in 2021, representing 16% of total (intra- and ex-) EU imports. Italy and Germany imported almost 700 million litres (13%) followed by the Netherlands (600 million litres or 12%) and Spain (500 million litres or 10%).
Alcoholic beer imports from outside the EU are marginal compared to intra-EU imports. When importing from non-EU countries, Member States favoured British beer (248 million litres or 47% of all ex-EU imports of beer) in 2021 followed by Mexican beer (122 million litres or 23%). Serbia (on at 46 million litres or 9%), Belarus (26 million litres or 5%) and Ukraine (17 million litres or 3%) followed the top importing countries but with much smaller values.