Czech beer production and consumption increases

The country holds on to first place per capita in beer drinking

After two years of stagnating beer consumption in the Czech Republic, domestic consumer interest has gone up. Some 16.38 million hectoliters of beer were consumed in the Czech Republic last year, nearly 200,000 hectoliters more than the year before, according to the Czech Brewery and Malt Association (ČSPS). The number of breweries also increased.

Czech breweries also produced more beer and non-alcoholic beer in 2016, for a record 20.48 million hectoliters. Compared to 2015, production increased by 1.9 percent. Non-alcoholic beer production at more than 20 Czech breweries was up 17 percent to reach a total of 555,000 hectoliters.

“After a long time, we have succeeded in expanding production not only due to export but also to increased consumption in the Czech Republic,” ČSPS chairman František Šámal said, according to daily Hospodářské noviny.

Exports of beer in 2016 totaled 4.4 million hectoliters, an increase of 4.5 percent year-on-year. The biggest markets were Slovakia, Germany, Poland and Russia.

The average beer consumption per Czech remains the same, on an average of 143 liters. Foreigners and tourists drank 750,000 hectoliters of beer last year, which was a 19 percent increase over the previous year.

The difference between the beer consumed in pubs and at home increased. Restaurants or bars had 39 percent and households 61 percent. This is also to case in Nordic countries. Ireland is an exception with 68 percent of beer consumed in pubs.

Classic lager consumption was up 0.7 percent, increasing for the first time in a decade. “Although people like to try new tastes, they are returning to the classic lager,” ČSPS chairman Šamal said.

Beer in a strength of 11 to 12 degrees accounted for 46.7 percent of consumption, while beer in seven to 10 degree strength was at 47.9 percent of the total. Other types were at 5.4 percent. Ten years ago, 11 to 12 degree beer was at 23.4 percent, while seven to 10 degree beer was 65.2 percent and other types were 2.4 percent.

On an international basis, the Czech Republic has the highest beer consumption per capita, and has held that position for 23 years, as long as the independent Czech Republic has existed. Research by Japanese beer firm Kirin again confirmed the Czech leadership. They used 2015 figures, with Czechs drinking 142.4 liters each per year, or one liter every 35 hours. Of course, children are unlikely to drink that much so the adults have to step up to make the difference.

Seychelles was second with a paltry 114.6 liters. Austria (104.7), Germany (104.7), Namibia (102.7), Poland (99.0), Ireland (97.5), Lithuania (97.1), Belize (94.7) and Romania (92.1) made up the top 10.

Belarus, however led the world in the most alcohol consumption per person, with 17.5 liters. In this measure, Czechs and Slovaks were tied for ninth place at 13 liters of alcohol. Czechs did not make it into the top 10 for wine, where Andorra won at 56.9 liters, and Vatican City was at 56.2 liters was second, perhaps due to wine at Mass.

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