This set is consumption broken down by Dutch province. All seven of them. And there's a clear pattern. The further south you go, the more beer is being drunk. Not just a small difference but a massive one. The difference was almost nine fold between the driest province (Drenthe) and wettest (Limburg) in 1938.
That's a lot. It now makes me wish that I had comparable figures for the UK. I'm sure that there were variations there, too. But I doubt that they were anything like as large.
I'm surprised that the provinces of the Randstad - Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and Utrecht - had such modest beer consumption. Those three provinces contain all of Holland's largest cities: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Which is where you would expect inhabitants to be the thirstiest. In reality, the areas closest to Belgium - Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg - liked their beer the most.
Consumption increased everywhere during the war. Presumably, at least in part due to the presence of German troops. In the case of some provinces doubling. Though these were those with the least consumption before the war.
Post-war, regional difference were still stark, but not quite as extreme as before the war. The ratio of beeriest to least beery had been reduced to merely five to one. With consumption up in the northern provinces and down in all the others, with the exception of Zeeland.
Did they really drink less in the North, or did they just prefer jenever? Sadly, I don't have comparable figures for consumption of spirits.
|Dutch beer consumption per head by province (litres)|
|De Nederlandse Brouwindustrie in Cijfers, by Dr. H. Hoelen, Centraal Brouwerij Kantoor, 1955, held at the Amsterdam City Archives, page 58 and 59.|