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Year end brewery count

As always this year, I have checked the number of physical breweries per country in the RB database.
The numbers are still increasing, but the growth rate is declining, both in absolute numbers and the relative rate:
2017: +2336 / 14.1%
2018: +2441 / 12.9%
2019: +1836 / 8.1%

There are also big regional differences, where some bigger countries see a stagnation (Germany, England) whereas others are going very strong. Only countries with 30+ physical breweries are listed.
As our listing of contract brewers vs client brewers is all messed up, neither of these are counting.

What can be attributed to actual number of breweries and incomplete data set I let others judge…

Pos 2019 Change Country # of breweries 2019-12-31 Increase 2019 Increase 2019 %
1 0 USA 7188 633 9,66%
2 0 Germany 1684 -18 -1,06%
3 0 England 1660 36 2,22%
4 1 France 1029 157 18,00%
5 -1 Canada 1014 132 14,97%
6 0 Italy 969 98 11,25%
7 0 Spain 818 60 7,92%
8 0 Switzerland 527 29 5,82%
9 0 Australia 510 52 11,35%
10 0 Czech Rep. 471 45 10,56%
11 0 Mexico 446 53 13,49%
12 0 Brazil 438 53 13,77%
13 1 Russia 420 44 11,70%
14 2 Belgium 420 63 17,65%
15 0 Netherlands 417 44 11,80%
16 -3 Sweden 410 32 8,47%
17 0 Japan 335 38 12,79%
18 2 Poland 279 40 16,74%
19 -1 Austria 272 12 4,62%
20 -1 Argentina 257 5 1,98%
21 0 Norway 219 8 3,79%
22 0 China 219 12 5,80%
23 3 Ukraine 200 35 21,21%
24 0 Denmark 188 2 1,08%
25 2 Chile 164 6 3,80%
26 -3 South Africa 162 -32 -16,49%
27 -2 New Zealand 159 -7 -4,22%
28 0 Scotland 153 -1 -0,65%
29 1 Portugal 142 19 15,45%
30 6 Colombia 139 49 54,44%
31 -2 Thailand 136 7 5,43%
32 1 India 132 28 26,92%
33 -2 Finland 108 -5 -4,42%
34 0 Ireland 106 5 4,95%
35 0 Hungary 104 4 4,00%
36 1 Slovenia 102 12 13,33%
37 -5 Wales 98 -12 -10,91%
38 0 Peru 90 3 3,45%
39 0 Vietnam 87 6 7,41%
40 0 Slovakia 78 3 4,00%
41 0 Croatia 77 8 11,59%
42 1 South Korea 77 15 24,19%
43 1 Romania 70 9 14,75%
44 2 Greece 66 7 11,86%
45 -3 Lithuania 64 0 0,00%
46 -1 Costa Rica 64 4 6,67%
47 0 Serbia 62 4 6,90%
48 0 Latvia 60 6 11,11%
49 2 Ecuador 58 10 20,83%
50 -1 Phillippines 53 2 3,92%
51 -1 Estonia 53 4 8,16%
52 0 Belarus 39 4 11,43%
53 0 Hongkong 36 2 5,88%
54 0 Georgia 35 4 12,90%
55 (new) Bulgaria 32 6 23,08%
56 (new) Israel 30 1 3,45%
5 Likes

And here are the figures per capita (based on population figures on Wikipedia 2018)

Pos Country Breweries per milion
1 Switzerland 61,80
2 Slovenia 49,27
3 Czech Rep. 44,32
4 Norway 41,14
5 Estonia 40,18
6 Sweden 40,14
7 Belgium 36,68
8 Denmark 32,38
9 New Zealand 32,26
10 Wales 31,36
11 Latvia 31,23
12 Austria 30,71
13 England 29,85
14 Scotland 28,20
15 Canada 27,17
16 Netherlands 24,12
17 Lithuania 22,91
18 USA 21,89
19 Ireland 21,82
20 Germany 20,32
21 Australia 20,24
22 Finland 19,56
23 Croatia 18,76
24 Spain 17,50
25 Italy 16,04
26 France 15,27
27 Slovakia 14,32
28 Portugal 13,80
29 Costa Rica 12,79
30 Hungary 10,64
31 Georgia 9,38
32 Serbia 8,86
33 Chile 8,75
34 Poland 7,26
35 Greece 6,13
36 Argentina 5,78
37 Hongkong 4,83
38 Bulgaria 4,54
39 Ukraine 4,48
40 Belarus 4,12
41 Romania 3,59
42 Israel 3,58
43 Mexico 3,56
44 Ecuador 3,38
45 Russia 2,91
46 Colombia 2,81
47 South Africa 2,81
48 Peru 2,80
49 Japan 2,65
50 Brazil 2,09
51 Thailand 1,97
52 South Korea 1,49
53 Vietnam 0,92
54 Phillippines 0,50
55 China 0,16
56 India 0,10
4 Likes

In terms of the UK I can never rember which is which butvsusoect there are no brewries which solely brew for others.

Unless there were any closures, I guess.

I misread the post. I thought it was only new ones.

Some of this is going to be due to admin activity. I know that New Zealand has definitely grown in terms of physical breweries over the last year. Their drop is because nobody had ever pruned off the closed ones before, which I did a few months back, and closed about 30ish breweries, most of which were closed five years ago plus.

I figured as much. I guess the same is true also for South Africa, which shows a huge drop this year.

The Germany drop still seems very odd, as they’ve had active admins over the last few years. Perhaps they cleaned up micro v. client breweries? An actual drop in brewery numbers in Germany would be very unexpected.

I cleaned up Berlin for example. Closing at least 5 and changing to Client at least 5 more. I dont think we have a drop.

Hard to say, we definitely had some closures in 2019 both among traditional and also craft brewers. I feel the Craft market stagnated a bit at least in terms of brewery openings compared to the previous years, but the existing ones are still churning out quite a few new beers.

It is also quite possible we aren’t quite splitting as many brands out into client/commissioner entities as we did when that system was new - that could explain a artificial bump of openings in the past.

I do a big tidy up of English and Welsh breweries every Autumn plus we have an active group of users who supply up to date information of brewers, places and beers, so this could be the reason for stagnation of growth.

1 Like

Only physical breweries are counted, so unless client brewers were not incorrectly listed as physical breweries, that should not be part of the equation.

Ah ok then it makes sense I guess. Not many have invested in new physical breweries lately, most new craftbrewers use up the capacities elsewhere.

Talking about closures I just spotted three Greater London breweries that have shut (one in 2016). However there are probably as many breweries not added to RB yet so who knows what the real stats are.

I found a list of UK breweries by county on a beer wiki site and straight away spotted a few that never made it onto RB before closing in Surrey, Berks and Hants. At some point I am going to go through them properly.

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