Domestic beer consumption in Belgium reaches record low in 2010; exports rise

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Beer consumption in Belgium has again declined in 2010. According to figures released by the Union of Belgian Brewers Belgians drink an average of 78 liters of beer per year. This is a decline of 2.8% compared to 2009. In the past 20 years, beer consumption in Belgium has declined by about one third.

Especially in “caf?s” (pubs) consumption of beer fell by 4.4% in 2010. Previously, eight out of 10 beers were drunk in pubs, compared to less than half now. Sales in supermarkets was “more or less” stable last year.

In addition, specialty beers are growing each year and account for about one quarter of the Belgian beer market .

However total beer production in Belgium in 2010 reached a record 1.8 billion liters, a 0,6% increase compared to 2009.

58% of the production is exported. Since 2006, Belgium exports more beer than the Belgiums themselves consume. in 2010 Belgium exported about 1.1 billion liters. This is 3.8% more than in 2009.

“The year was still excellent for the sector”, Theo Vervloet of the Union of Brewers was quoted as saying.