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Top 10 craft beer producing countries: US and UK lead the way

By Rachel Arthur+

20-Mar-2017
Last updated on 20-Mar-2017 at 14:31 GMT2017-03-20T14:31:17Z

Pic:iStock/Sergey_Peterman
Pic:iStock/Sergey_Peterman

The US remains the biggest craft beer producer; but the UK has more craft breweries per capita, according to a survey from Alltech and The Brewers Journal. 

Both the US and UK have seen an increase of more than 10% in the number of craft breweries year-on-year, while the movement has seen a surge globally as well.  

“This has drastically changed the fonts and fridges in pubs and bars on every continent,” say the leaders of the survey. “The thrill of innovation, experimentation and community engagement is creating a new market for brewers and retailers.

The US maintains its place as the top craft beer producer with 4,750 craft breweries, out of a total 5,025 breweries.

Top 10 craft beer producers

US
UK
Germany
Italy
Spain
France
Canada
Netherlands
Switzerland
Australia 

However, there are more craft breweries in Europe than North America. The top ten craft beer producing countries are: the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia.

Out of the top ten, the UK has the most craft breweries per capita with 25 breweries per million people (compared with 15 in the US and 16 in Germany).

According to The Brewers Journal, the US and UK lead the way because of favorable legislation for craft brewers. It sees the pivotal moment in the US as when President Jimmy Carter allowed home brewing in 1978 - the first time since Prohibition; in the UK the defining moment was in 2002 when Prime Minister Gordon Brown reduced beer duty to nil for breweries producing less than 5,000 hectoliters).

Globally, there are more than 19,000 breweries. Around 94% of these (17,732) can be defined as craft brewers (the definition used by this survey is having fewer than 30 staff; or producing less than 5,000 hectoliters per year; or having more than 50% of the brewery being privately owned). 

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