Czech breweries exported a record 5.16 million hectolitres of beer last year, an increase of over 11 percent in 2018, the Czech Beer and Malt Association reported this week. For the first time in history, the volume of beer in tanks and kegs surpassed bottled and canned beer.
While Czechs still belong among the world’s leading beer drinkers, consumption of the golden brew has been stagnating for some time. Last year, the annual beer consumption per capita was 141 litres and experts say it is unlikely to grow.
Despite this trend, however, Czech Republic’s beer production keeps growing, driven by interest abroad. According to the head of the Czech Beer and Malt Association, Jiří Veselý, exports have grown over the past eleven years by a whopping 62 percent. Beer exports to EU countries in 2018 increased by 10 percent and currently amount to around 80 percent of overall exports. The biggest importer of Czech beer is Slovakia, followed by Germany and Poland.
While in 2010, Poland only took around three-percent of the overall exports to the EU, last year it amounted to 12 percent. Exports have also grown to Sweden and Hungary. Czech beer exports to countries outside the European Union increased by one fifth in 2018. Russia increased its imports of Czech beer by 54 percent, mainly because of the World Championship in Football.
Among the new importers of Czech beer are Antarctica, Angola, Bahrain, the Bermuda Islands, Philippines, Senegal and Ecuador.
While Czech consumers increasingly prefer canned or bottled beer, beer exports are dominated by beer in tanks and kegs. Last year, Czech breweries exported over 2.6 million hectolitres of beer in tanks and kegs, compared to 2.5 million hectolitres of beer in bottles, cans and mini-kegs.
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