Beer lovers and beer aficionados can be forgiven for thinking that there is little else in the world that they enjoy so much as beer.
The beer industry is so popular that there are several online beer blogs, a Facebook group and a subreddit dedicated to discussing the topic.
But the industry is in some ways still very much a work in progress, and the real question is how much is being produced and sold in terms of the number of bottles sold, and how much of that is actually being consumed by the beer industry itself.
This is one of the challenges of the industry, says James Dolan, a beer expert at the Beer Institute, a trade group that works to protect and promote the interests of the beer community.
“There’s an enormous amount of demand for beer, and demand that’s not there,” he says.
In the United States, there are about 200 breweries in operation, but they only make about 10% of the overall volume of beer sold, Dolan says.
That means that there’s an average of just under 100 million bottles sold per year.
That’s about as much beer as people in the United Kingdom or Ireland consume, according to figures from Beer Advocate.
The average amount of beer consumed per capita is roughly the same in the US and the UK, Danks says.
What’s more, the number and the quality of beer produced in the U.S. are declining at a rapid rate, and that is having a knock-on effect on the beer market in other countries.
In a report released this week by the Brewers Association, the trade group for craft beer producers, there were 1.9 billion bottles sold in 2016, down from 1.8 billion in 2015.
In Germany, where the number is also on the decline, beer consumption is up slightly, from 2.4 billion bottles in 2016 to 2.6 billion in 2017.
In Spain, where consumption has grown at an even faster rate, beer has actually declined slightly, falling from 1 billion bottles to 932 million bottles last year.
What makes the United and other countries that are dependent on imports of beer different from the U, and why are they still so dependent on the industry?
“The main difference between the U and other economies is that beer is so much cheaper than it used to be, and we have a lot more money at our disposal than we did,” says John Dolan.
“People can just get their money’s worth of beer for less than they used to.
In many ways, the U is more dependent on beer than it was 30 years ago.”
The US has historically been a place where the majority of beer is made.
The industry in the states where beer is the mainstay of everyday life is dominated by small, independent breweries, but the industry in some other parts of the country is dominated more by large, multi-national corporations.
There’s a reason why a number of beer brands are now competing for the top spot in the market.
Some of the big names are Nestlé, Guinness, MillerCoors, Budweiser, and Anheuser-Busch.
In Europe, however, beer is largely a specialty market, and most of the smaller brewers are not very profitable, Dans says.
There is also a lot of consolidation in the beer world.
“It’s a little bit like the music industry, where you have big companies, like the major labels, and then smaller companies that are trying to survive, and sometimes they can’t,” he explains.
There are still small brewers in the UK and Ireland, and in the States, but it’s not like they have a monopoly on the market, either.
“I’ve been working in the craft beer industry for nearly 15 years, and there’s been a lot that I’ve learned from the craft breweries and a lot I’ve been able to share with the craft community,” says Dolan of the Brewers’ Association.
“But there’s a lot to learn from all the craft brewers, and a whole lot more that I’m going to share in the coming months and years.”
This article originally appeared in The Irish Sun.