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International Beer Day: Who are Europe's biggest consumers, producers and exporters of the drink?

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By Mathieu Pollet
In 2019, Germany was the top producer of beer in the EU with a production of 8.0 billion litres
In 2019, Germany was the top producer of beer in the EU with a production of 8.0 billion litres   -   Copyright  Matthias Schrader/AP

Today is International Beer Day! To raise a glass, here are some key facts about one of Europe's favourite drinks.

'Germany is the EU's top beer producer'

With a production of 8 billion litres (about 23% of the EU total production), Germany is the biggest producer of beer among EU members in 2019, according to Eurostat.

In other words, about one in every four beers produced in the EU originated from Germany, which is followed by Poland and Spain (each 3.9 bn litres), the Netherlands (2.5 bn litres), Belgium (2.4 bn litres), France (2.0 bn litres), and the Czech Republic (1.9 bn litres).

The Netherlands is the largest beer exporter of all EU states with 1.9bn litres, ahead of Belgium (1.7 bn litres) and Germany (1.6 bn litres), followed by the Czech Republic, France and Ireland (all 0.5 bn).

'Czechs drink the most beer'

As for beer consumption per capita, Czech Republic (141 litres), Austria (107 litres) and Germany (102 litres) make it onto the podium of the biggest drinkers in the EU.

They are followed by Romania (85 litres) and Croatia (84 litres).

Greece, Italy and France come last with 36, 34 and 33 litres of beer per capita.

There are more than 10,000 active breweries across Europe

In 2018, they were more than 2,000 active breweries in the United Kingdom, according to the Brewers of Europe.

France tripled the number between 2012 et 2018 (from 503 to 1600) while Italy doubled (from 421 to 874).

Malta, Cyprus and Croatia have the fewest breweries with one, two and six respectively.

According to The Brewers of Europe's report in 2018, the beer market in Europe accounts for 132,737 jobs.