Beer consumption declining in the Netherlands

Beer consumption in the Netherlands totalled nearly 1.3 billion litres in 2004. Beer consumption per capita was 78 litres. In 2003 the average annual beer consumption was 80 litres. Beer consumption per capita dropped by 2 percent in 2004 compared to the previous year.

Per capita beer consumption

Wine consumption up, beer consumption down

Beer consumption in the Netherlands has fallen by more than 14 percent from 91 to 78 litres per capita in the period 1990-2004. Wine consumption, on the other hand, rose by more than 40 percent from 14.5 to 20.6 litres per capita in the same period. 

Beer popular in Europe

Beer is particularly popular in Europe. With 157 litres per capita, the Czech republic ranks number one worldwide in beer consumption. The Netherlands are in fourteenth place. In countries like Ireland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium, beer consumption is also considerably higher than in the Netherlands.

Global beer consumption, 2003


Netherlands largest beer exporter

Dutch breweries produced nearly 24 million hectolitres of beer in 2004. Output was below the level of 2003, when production surpassed the 25 million hectolitres mark.

In 2004 more than 14.5 million hectolitres were exported, worth close to 1.3 billion euro, making the Netherlands the uncontested top world beer exporter. With 7.2 million hectolitres, the US are the most important export country.   

Beer exports


Excise revenues stable

Excise revenues in 2004 were nearly equal to 2003. In 2004 excise revenues amounted to 324 million euro. Declining beer consumption has hardly affected excise revenues over the years. Proportionally, excise revenues rose by 14 percent in 2004 compared to 1999. In the same period beer consumption per capita decreased by almost 8 percent.

Excise revenues

Hans Draper