I've accumulated some impressive sets of numbers over the years. Especially about British brewing. Mostly they're from the Brewers' Almanack and its successor, the Statistical Handbook. I've got a fairly complete set of most numbers for the 20th century, though there are a few gaps.
The longer the set, the more useful the numbers, I generally find. This lot certainly offered up some surprises. The biggest being that since 1987 UK beer exports have been greater than ever before.
For most of the 20th century, beer exports were in the range 300,000 - 500,000 hl per year. But over the last couple of decades this has shot up to several millions of hectolitres annually. Unfortunately, I don't know which specific beers are being exported. Though given the numbers, most of it must be being produced on an industrial scale.
Good news? I guess so. But there's a huge problem looming on the horizon. Because guess where most of those exports go: EU countries. 63% of exports in 2016. I'm surprised no-one has mentioned this yet. All I've heard are the supposed opportunities that Brexit offers brewers. I suspect that the opposite is more likely to be the case. Be interesting to see what the numbers look like in five years time.
|UK beer exports 1900 - 2016|
|Brewers' Almanack 1928, p. 115|
|Brewers' Almanack 1955, p. 57|
|Brewers' Almanack 1962, p. 57|
|Brewers' Almanack 1971, p. 54|
|“The Brewers' Society Statistical Handbook 1988” page 17|
|“The Brewers' Society Statistical Handbook 1990” page 17|
|Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2003, p. 21|
|Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2005, p. 17|
|Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2011, p. 17|
|Statistical Handbook of the British Beer & Pub Association 2017, p. 15 - 16|