Yet despite crushing blows to brewers and breweries, data indicates that the beer industry will continue to play a big part in the global economy in 2022 and beyond.
- Beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink and the third most consumed drink after water and tea
- 1 in every 110 jobs in the world is linked – through direct, indirect, or induced impact channels – to the beer sector
- The beer industry supported an estimated 23.1 million jobs
- Beer contributed $555 billion of gross value added (GVA) to global GDP in 2019
- The beer industry helped generate $262 billion in government tax revenue in 70 countries
- The global beer market is valued at $623 billion
- Corona (the beer!) boasts $8.2 billion in brand value
- In 2020, the US beer industry sold 204.8 million barrels
- Draft beer accounts for 6% of the total beer volume
- Craft beer has a US $22.2 billion retail value
So let’s drink up some of these beer tastebud numbers.
A Global View Of The Beer Industry
The first-ever worldwide report to determine the beer industry’s global economic impact found that 1 in every 110 jobs in the world is linked – through direct, indirect, or induced impact channels – to the beer sector.
The beer industry also contributed $555 billion of gross value added (GVA) to global GDP in 2019.
Research conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of the Worldwide Brewing Alliance (WBA) found the beer industry also helped generate $262 billion in government tax revenue in the 70 countries studied, which account for 89% of beer sold worldwide.
The beer industry also supported an estimated 23.1 million jobs.
The international beer market amounts to a whopping US $623.2 billion, and it’s predicted to see stable growth between 2021 and 2026. Additionally, global statistics reveal that by 2025, out-of-home consumption will account for 51% of spending and 35% of volume consumption in the beer market.
In other words, people will return to pubs and breweries as the world learns to live with the coronavirus.
So what’s the world’s best beer brand?
The latest beer data shows that Corona, the Mexican pale lager, is the most valued beer brand. The beer is sold in more than 120 countries globally and is the best-selling imported drink in the US and the fastest-growing grocery product in the UK.
Surprisingly, the Dutch conglomerate Heineken is the second most valued beer brand at $6.7 billion, followed by (shudder) Budweiser at $6.4 billion.
The US Beer Industry
The US beer industry sold 204.8 million barrels of beer, where one barrel is equivalent to 31 gallons. To put it another way, the northern American beer industry sold an equivalent of 2.8 billion of 12-ounce containers globally.
Furthermore, the industry distributed 3.3 billion barrels of fermented products such as cider.
The closing of bars, restaurants, and other retail establishments due to the coronavirus changed the beer consumption trends and caused a drop in draft beer sales. As a result, the total volume share of draft declined to 6% from 10% in 2019.
At the same time, packaged beer sales rose from 60% in 2019 to 67% in 2020. That said, the glass-bottled beer experienced an insignificant impact dropping from 29% in 2019 to 28% in 2020. It would appear that beer lovers just moved their drinking to their homes.
The draft beer share of total beer volume is a meagre 6% in the US, indicating that draft is not as big as it is in the UK, Australia and Europe.
The current trends in the beer industry reveal American beer drinkers prefer lagers and pilsners. About 60.6% have named these beer styles as their favourite beer varieties.
At 42%, Amber Ale is the second most preferred style, followed by Pale Ale/IPA at 41.3% and Wheat at 3.1%.
Belgian is the beer style of preference for 32.2% of beer drinkers, whereas 25.1% choose Stout/Porter and 24.9% Brown Ale. Only 10.3% would opt for Sour.
Let’s move on to the growing craft beer scene.
US Craft Beers And Brewing
In this sector, it is easy to spot the downward trends resulting from the lockdown and social distancing restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The craft beer production saw a 9% decline in 2020, decreasing the market’s share by volume from 13.6% in 2019 to 12.3%.
Since the huge growth in craft beer, this was the first time the volume has dropped, and it’s also the lowest production level over the past five years.
But analysts are forecasting a solid recovery for craft beer as almost half of adult drinkers aged 21 and above prefer and will opt for craft beer above commercially brewed counterparts.
The US Brewers Association states that 44% of adult drinkers aged 21 and above opt for craft beer. Projections state the trend will continue in the future as the majority of the millennial drinking population will either stay or move into the craft beer consumer age group.
The craft beer industry’s value is estimated at $22.2 billion after experiencing a 22% decline over 2019.
Nevertheless, the sector contributed about $62 billion to the US economy in 2020. Additionally, it provided more than 400,000 jobs ̶ of which 140,000 were directly at breweries and brewpubs ̶ despite the challenging times following the coronavirus outbreak.
Beer drinking is huge globally, let’s move on to examine what is happening elsewhere in the beer-drinking world.
The majority of the global beer industry revenue is generated in China, beer stats show. This huge nation generates $123 billion in revenue. Beer accounts for about 75% of the total alcohol consumption in China.
On an annual basis, Chinese people consume more than 45 billion litres of beer, including Chinese beer, which is five times more than the European leader, Germany, and double that of the US.
While the global beer production amounts to 1.91 billion hectolitres, China, the US, and Brazil are still the countries generating the largest beer production.
In fact, the Asian craft and micro brewing beer scene is fast coming into its own as borne out by a perusal of the Asian Beer Network, whose authors make some interesting predictions for 2022.
Yeast will be a thing in 2022 as more brewers are willing to experiment with non-traditional “beer” yeasts and are even starting to look at some really old historical strains.
Others are interested in pushing wild yeasts and as technology develops, the yeast market could just be generating some revenue in the future.
Another trend that’s being forecast is a move towards drinking really small and really local. As the craft beer industry expands, people are wanting to drink in small taprooms, even in out of the way rural areas.
This fits in with a post-Covid world, where people are gathering in smaller groups, are more selective on what to spend their hard-earned money on and favouring a more “connected” experience.
Finally, some fun stats to end off after all the gross domestic product. Was beer really invented by a woman?
Let’s take a look.
Was beer invented by a woman?
The consumption of fermented beverages dates from 9 000 years ago, and the first signs of beer appear about 4 000 years later. Most beer was brewed from barley back then. However, the first written recipe for beer is considered the Hymn to Ninkasi, which dates to 1 800 BC. Ninkasi was the Sumerian goddess of beer, and the hymn praises her and provides a beer recipe that includes barley bread and describes brewing techniques.
What’s the oldest beer in the world?
The oldest brewery in the world is considered to be the Weihenstephan Brewery. According to some records, the brewery started producing beer in 1040. They are best known for Hefeweizen or wheat beer which is highly regarded.
The neighbouring brewery, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, started brewing beer only ten years later. The brewery has gained praise for the Dunkel Lager, which is also thought to be the world’s oldest dark beer.
What is the best beer in the world?
Beer lovers would argue that the best beer in the world is highly subjective. According to the recent World Beer Awards, Kellerbier by Karlsberg is the best lager, Wanderer by Whalers Brewing Company is crowned the best Indian Pale Ale (IPA), and the French Blonde by Anosteke is the top pale beer.
Furthermore, Brugs Tarwebier by Brouwerij de Halve Maan holds the award for best wheat beer, whereas Qualified by Taxman Brewing Company is the world’s best dark beer.
But really, the best beer in the world is the one in your hand!
Nathan has always been captivated by numbers and patterns. With a Master’s degree in Statistics, he’s honed his skills to decipher complex data sets and discern market trends.
Over the past decade, Nathan has worked with various firms compiling and analyzing industry spending figures to forecast market movements.