There are few pleasures in life more enjoyable than winding down the week with an ice cold beer, and according to the latest data from Eurostat, beer production rose to 34.3 billion litres across the European Union last year, a 7% increase year-on-year.
The increase means that beer production levels across the bloc are now on a par with 2019, i.e. before the COVID-19 pandemic, when production stood at 34.7 billion.
Total beer production across Europe – either with or without alcohol – stood at 80 litres per inhabitant, Eurostat's data showed.
But which countries are the top producers of beer in Europe? ESM looks behind the numbers.
Total: 7.6 billion litres
Accounting for more than a fifth (22.2%) of the total beer production in the European Union, Germany is well out in front, producing some 7.6 billion litres of beer last year. This means that close to a quarter of all the beers produced in the EU originated in Germany. In addition, Germany is a major beer exporter, with 1.5 billion litres exported.
Total: 3.9 billion litres
Spain produced a total of 3.9 billion litres of beer last year, around 11.5% of the total beer production of the European Union.
Total: 3.7 billion litres
With beer production of 3.7 billion litres, Poland ranks just behind Spain, taking third place. This equates to around 11% of total beer production in the European Union.
Total: 2.6 billion litres
Annual beer production in the Netherlands – the home of Heineken – totals 2.6 billion litres, according to Eurostat, making it the fourth-biggest beer producer in the European Union. The Netherlands is the biggest exporter of beer in the European Union.
Total: 2.0 billion litres
Coming in fifth place, France accounts for approximately 5.9% of total beer production in the European Union, with annual production of 2.0 billion litres.
Total: 2.0 billion litres (estimated)
Data on the size of the Belgian beer industry isn't available through Eurostat, however other data sources put production at an estimated 2.0 billion litres. What is clear, however, is the level of beer exported from Belgium on an annual basis, which totalled 1.6 billion litres last year.
Total: 1.9 billion litres
With annual production of 1.9 billion litres, Italy is the seventh biggest beer producer in the European Union.
Total: 1.8 billion litres
A country with a longstanding reputation for quality beers, Czechia places eighth on the list, with production of 1.8 billion litres of beer per annum. Czechia exports 0.6 billion litres of beer annually.
Total: 1.6 billion litres
Romania produces around 1.6 billion litres of beer per annum, making it the ninth biggest beer producer in the European Union.
Total: 774 million litres
Rounding off the top ten, Austria produced around 774 million litres of beer last year, according to Eurostat.