41 billion litres of beer were produced in the EU in 2017

The EU produced more than 41 billion litres of beer, which was produced from malt and contained alcohol, in 2017. This is an increase of 2.5 billion litres from 2016. The statistics were released by the European Commission as part of World Beer Day.

900 million litres were also produced that contained less than 0.5% alcohol or no alcohol at all. The figures outlined below refer to beer containing alcohol.

Top producers

Germany was the top producer at 8.1 billion litres – one in every five beers produced in the EU came from Germany.

Two-thirds of all beer produced in the EU came from six countries.

The UK was the second highest producer at 5.6 billion litres (14%). Poland followed at 4 billion litres (10%), while the Netherlands (9%), Spain (9%) and Belgium (6%) also came in the top six.

However, production decreased in Greece, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Lithuania in 2017.


The Netherlands was the largest exporter of the product at 1.9 billion litres. Belgium, Germany, France and the UK also exported considerable amounts of the product.

The US was the most popular destination outside of the EU. 1.1 billion litres of EU beer were exported to the US in 2017.

China and Canada were the next biggest customers outside of the member states, while Mexican beer was the most popular imported into the EU in 2017. No information was available for Ireland from the European Commission’s report.

EU shortage of malting barley this year

Grain yields are down worldwide this season and malting barley is no different. EU malting barley production is estimated to reduce by 500,000t this season.

This is leading to higher prices being paid for malting barley in some cases. It will no doubt have an effect on EU beer production.