BEER drinking reached a record-high in Spain in 2022 helped by hospitality recovering after the pandemic and larger number of tourists.

Figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food in conjunction with Cerveceros de España showed that 42.3 million hectolitres of beer were downed last year.

That’s 6% more than in 2021 and beating the previous best of 41.3 million hectolitres in 2019.

In terms of production, Spain ousted Poland as the second biggest producer in the EU and is now behind Germany.

Spain is ninth in the world standings, headed by China, the US and Brazil.

Almost all the beer consumed in Spain is made domestically: in total 41.1 million hectolitres were manufactured- 7.9% more than in 2021.

Exports rose last by 13.4% last year, to 4.2 million hectolitres, with Portugal, the United Kingdom, China and Equatorial Guinea as the main markets.

Imports meanwhile fell by 3.63% in 2022 compared to the previous year, to 5.4 million hectolitres with Belgium as the main seller.

Consumption grew especially in the hospitality industry, 32% more, due to the boost of tourism.

But pre-pandemic hospitality sector levels have not yet been reached, though tourist numbers so far this year suggest that could well happen.

70% of beer was consumed outside the home in 2019, but last year sales remained below 60%.

“We trust and hope that in 2023 we will exceed the last year’s hospitality levels, especially since the first figures of the year are strongly indicating it,” said the general director of Cerveceros de España, Jacobo Olalla.

Another trend was the rise by 11% last year of non-alcoholic beer sales, accounting for 13% of all beer consumption.

In terms of companies, Mahou San Miguel was the biggest producer in 2022(12.81 million hectolitres), followed by Grupo Damm (11.34 million), Heineken (10.07), Hijos de Rivera (the manufacturer of Estrella de Galicia, with 4.81 million hectolitres) and Compañía Cervecera de Canarias (1.07 million).

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