Beer, who doesn’t like it? You can see it in all kinds of different types, sizes, alcohol percentages and prices. From a delicious Tripel Karmeliet to Paulaner or Schultenbrau, you name it. In the Netherlands we consume around 1.3 billion liters of beer per year. This amounts to an average of 76.5 liters per person. You may think this is a big amount, but in comparison to other European countries, it is not that much. The Netherlands is in 24th place in the world ranking in terms of beer consumption per capita. Germans drink around 105 liters per person per year, but the Croats win by far. With 142.2 liters per person per year, they drink the most beer in the world. So if you are going to do a drinking game against a Croat, you may want to think twice before you start.
Although the Netherlands is not champion in drinking beer, we do very well in exporting beer. Germany may be Europe’s largest beer producer, but the Netherlands exports more. In 2017, the Netherlands exported 1.9 billion liters of beer. Mainly to the US, France and the UK. Belgium and Germany are in second place with 1.6 billion liters and France (0.7 billion liters) and Great Britain (0.6 billion liters) follow.
The Dutch beer sector is still growing. Of course we already had Heineken, but the real growth is in the sector of special beers and non-alcoholic beers. In 2016, the Netherlands had 97 breweries, 135 in 2017 and 141 in 2018. That is an increase of more than 45% in two years! Beer production increased by 48% in 2018 to more than 3.9 billion liters. In contrast to Germany and Belgium, which have remained a bit in their well-known beers, Dutch brewers are fully experimenting with new beers. These new beers are very popular abroad. As said before, especially in the US and France, but also in countries such as China and Korea. The turnover of Dutch exported beer to the United States alone was already 680 million euros, followed by France (150 million) and the UK (71 million).
The Dutch have also been drinking more beer in recent years, but that is almost necessary. When you make new products, you have to experiment a lot, but also taste them!
The next time you try out a new Dutch special beer, you just have to thing that you are working on improving a product and hopefully the export of it….
Tags: Wouter Pen