Drinks

UK Biggest Market for Italian Beer in Europe

By square1
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Over half of the Italian beer exported between January and October last year went to the UK, according to Italy's Coldiretti farmers association.

Italian beer exports rose by 13 per cent in the first ten months of 2014 compared to the same period in the previous year, as Britons have increasingly acquired a taste for Italy's craft beer.

The association said the findings were based on figures from the national statistics agency (Istat) and published during the course of the "Beer Attraction International Craft Breweries Show" taking place in Rimini.

Italian craft beer is experiencing a boom, with over 600 breweries now in the country compared to just 30 in 2004. About ten per cent of all the craft beer produced each year, totalling 30 million, is exported.

The craft beer revolution is also helping to create jobs, especially among the under-35s.

But despite the growing industry, pro-capita consumption of beer in Italy has dropped to 29 liters, with the biggest beer drinkers found in the Czech Republic (144 liters), followed by Austria (107,8), Germany (105), Ireland (85,6), Luxembourg (85) and Spain (82), according to Coldiretti.

National barley crops have been supporting the Italian beer industry, with a production of about 860,000 tonnes of barley in 2014 on a total area of about 226,000 hectares. The cereal sector, together with Italy's Ministry of Agriculture, estimates the annual commitment of grain of barley equal to about 90,000 tons.

Coldiretti has been stimulating and pursuing the so-called "Made in Italy" food industry chain, in the sense that the producer participates in the closed loop process until the finished product is placed on the market.

At the same time, the national distribution network "Campagna Amica" is being expanded, through which the consumer can get the branded products directly from the manufacturer. This policy has also stimulated the emergence of project initiatives in the segment of craft beer or the starting a new agricultural entrepreneurship using barley in a closed loop production guaranteed by the same farmer.

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