Taking a closer look at the export figures has been very informative. Especially seeing the longterm changes. There's been a huge shift in the destinations of UK beer exports. It's particularly obvious in this set.
In the late 1960's, there was as much beer going to tiny Cyprus and Gibraltar combined than was going to Germany. If you see the figues for outside Europe, the trend is even more obvious: Almost all the exports were going to former of current British territories. Th only exception to this is Belgium.
It's clear that British brewers were still relying on colonial markets in the 1960's. But that was going to change. As we've already seen, there's been a big increase in exports to North America. In 1965 the US was only importing 5,000-odd barrels a year from the UK. By the mid-1990's that was up to half a million barrels, and in 2000 it hit a million barrels, though it has fallen back a little since then.
You can really call this perion the end of empire. Except for Belgium.
Note that exports to Ireland were just a tiny fraction of what they are now. More than 800,000 barrels were exported to Ireland in 2016. Will UK brewers be returning to their old export markets in the Far East and the West Indies? We'll see. Not so sure that their chances are very good.
|UK exports to Europe 1965 - 1974 (thousands of barrels)|
|Belgium & Luxembourg||215.9||189.4||181.0||161.1||152.1||144.7||154.2||170.1||186.7||194.4|
|“1971 Brewers' Almanack”, pages 53-54.|
|Statistical Handbook 1978, page 13.|