Boom in Latvian beer production

As all credible people already know, Latvian beer is the best in the world, and according to the latest Eurostat figures released to mark World Beer Day on August 3, the production of beer in Latvia appears to be booming.

Latvian breweries produced 85 million liters of beer in 2022, a big increase on the 75 million liters produced in both 2021 and 2020.

While Estonia (134 million liters) and Lithuania (329 million liters) brewed more beer than Latvia last year, and while their beer is perfectly drinkable, it ain't Latvian beer.

However, all three Baltic states remain minnows when compared with the volumes produced by Europe's larger countries. 

In 2022, EU countries produced almost 34.3 billion (bn) litres of beer containing alcohol and 1.6 bn litres of beer which contained less than 0.5% alcohol or had no alcohol content at all.

Compared with 2021, the production of beer with alcohol in the EU increased by 7%, returning to levels closer to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when production was at 34.7 bn litters. When it comes to beer without alcohol, there was no change compared with 2021. 

The EU’s total beer production in 2022 was equivalent to almost 80 litres per inhabitant, which would be quite a session.

Among the EU countries with data available, in 2022 Germany continued to be the top producer with 7.6 bn litres (more than 22% of the 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 Spain, with 3.9 bn litres produced (more than 11% of total EU production), Poland with 3.7 bn litres (11%) the Netherlands with 2.6 bn litres (almost 8%) and France and Italy, both with 2.0 billion litres (each 6%). 

Beer production in EU, 2022
Beer production in EU, 2022

As in previous years, trade data show that the Netherlands continued to lead as the top exporter of beer containing alcohol in 2022. The Netherlands exported a total (intra- and extra-EU) of 2.6 bn litres of beer containing alcohol in 2022, accounting for 27% of the total EU beer exports. Compared with 2021, this country saw an increase of 0.7 bn litres in beer exports. 

The Netherlands was followed by Belgium (1.6 bn litres; 17%), Germany (1.5 bn litres; 16%), Czechia (0.6 bn litres; 6%) and Ireland (0.4 bn litres; 5%). 

When it comes to main destinations for beer exports to non-EU countries, the United Kingdom (860 million litres; 21% of total extra-EU beer exports) and the United States (716 million litres; 18%) were the main partners, followed by China (349 million litres; 9%), Russia (271 million litres; 7%), and Canada (155 million litres; 4%).

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