Craft countries: our obsession with craft beer

For this blog we thought it was time to look at which countries rank highest in their love for all things craft beer. Who has the most breweries and conversely who has the least…?

Yet, defining a craft brewery can be a tricky job and depending on where you are in the world that classification can vary dramatically.

According to research in 2015 there were 10,000 craft breweries across the globe, with 4000 of those based in just the US. Follow-up studies done in 2017 put the total number of craft breweries at just over 17,000, making up 92% of the total number of breweries in the world.

And giving a growth figure of over 70%!!

Craft league tables

So, what countries rank highest in terms of craft beer? Well, we’ve already highlighted the USA as the godfather of craft beer in terms of pure numbers but is that everything?

Surely, it’s about how many breweries per person, right? If that’s the case, then the UK reigns supreme with the most craft breweries per capita; the UK has a whopping 25 breweries per million people, compared with 16 in Germany and only 15 in the US.

If we are just talking straight numbers though, despite having four countries in the top 10 list; Europe only just beats the US for most craft breweries with only a three-brewery difference.

Here is what the overall top ten look like:

1. U.S.A
2. U.K.
3. France
4. Italy
5. Russia
6. Canada
7. Switzerland
8. Germany
9. Brazil
10. Japan

Size isn’t everything

Despite having the largest populations, China and India rank as some of the lowest countries in terms of craft beer production and number of breweries.

Interestingly though, China is one of the world’s largest consumers of beers. With annual consumption almost doubling the amount of beer drank in the United States. So, if size isn’t everything, what is affecting craft in certain countries?

Location, Location, Location

As we looked at in a previous blog, being in the middle of nowhere really isn’t a barrier of entry for craft brewers. There are breweries to be found literally everywhere, all meeting the demand for the tasty range of brews we as modern drinkers now demand.

With breweries being seen on the likes of the Easter Islands and Falklands, it is exciting to see if the next few years will bring significant change to the popularity of craft and if we will start to see the likes of India and China creep up the ladder.

And if they do and they also find the joy of the can for their beers then they’ll know where to turn find the most sustainable multi-packing solution available… Cheers!