Number of breweries worldwide

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Breweries and Shops
Tags: , , , , ,

Those who know me know I’m a bit of a statistics freak. If a ranking list can be made or if a chart can be drawn, trust me: I’ll do it sooner or later.

So when I came upon a recent forum discussion on ratebeer.com, talking about the number of breweries in different countries, I jumped at the opportunity. Based on websites like beerme.com or ratebeer.com, as well as with the help of everyone’s friends Google and Wikipedia, it has been a pretty easy and quick task.
Please bear in mind that all the numbers below are constantly changing and that, despite all the information sources, a 100% accuracy remains impossible.

Let’s first take a look at the countries with the most breweries. Since a couple of years (somewhere between 2004 and 2008) the United States have taken the lead over the long-time leader Germany. Here’s the top ten:

country number of breweries source
USA 1759 Brewer Association
Germany 1332 German-Breweries.com
England 628 BBC News
China 500 Research and Markets
France 475 ratebeer.com / Biere France
Japan 406 ratebeer.com
Canada 391 ratebeer.com
Switzerland 335 Bov’s Beers
Italy 303 Mondo Birra
Australia 243 ratebeer.com

The presence of countries like Japan or Switzerland surely is a surprise to most of you. Some solid beer countries can be found just further: Austria (11th), Belgium (12th), the Czech Republic (15th) and Denmark (16th). It can be noticed that the overall number of breweries worldwide seems to be pretty close to 10’000 (see also the complete table at the end of this post)

Craft Brewers in the USA

What about the countries with the highest density of breweries per capita ?

This question raises a small definition problem: what counts exactly as a country ? ratebeer.com is pretty (too ?) generous in this aspect, so I have allowed myself to take the non self-governing territories out of this ranking. Here the ones which would have made it in the top-ten:

country number of breweries population population per brewery comment
Norfolk Island 1 1’828 1’828 Australia’s external territory
Cayman Islands 3 54’878 18’293 British overseas territory
Bermuda 2 64’566 32’283 British overseas territory
United States Virgin Islands 3 109’000 36’333 insular area of the USA
Turks and Caicos Islands 1 40’357 40’357 British overseas territory

This leaves us with the following top ten:

country number of breweries population population per brewery comment
Cook Islands 3 23’400 7’800 free association with New Zealand; self-governing
Liechtenstein 3 36’157 12’052  
Greenland 3 56’452 18’817 autonomous country within Kingdom of Denmark
Palau 1 20’000 20’000  
Switzerland 335 7’866’500 23’482  
Faroe Islands 2 48’596 24’298  
Isle of Man 3 83’000 27’667 self-governing British dependency
Monaco 1 35’000 35’000  
Iceland 9 318’452 35’384  
Denmark 135 5’564’219 41’216  

Some strange and very small countries, isn’t it ?😉

Following the advice allegedly attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, “Only trust statistics you’ve manipulated yourself“, I suggest to present a more serious top ten by skipping countries having less than 5 active breweries. This gives us the following ranking:

country number of breweries population population per brewery
Switzerland 335 7’866’500 23’482
Iceland 9 318’452 35’384
Denmark 135 5’564’219 41’216
Wales 72 2’999’300 41’657
Austria 192 8’404’252 43’772
New Zealand 87 4’408’900 50’677
Belgium 189 11’007’020 58’238
Slovenia 35 2’052’120 58’632
Germany 1332 81’802’000 61’413
Luxembourg 8 502’100 62’763

Now you know why it’s great to be a swiss beerhunter😉

Finally, here is the complete table, enjoy!

country number of breweries population population per brewery
Afghanistan 0 31’412’000 N/A
Albania 7 3’195’000 456’429
Algeria 5 36’300’000 7’260’000
Andorra 0 84’082 N/A
Angola 3 19’082’000 6’360’667
Antigua & Barbuda 1 89’000 89’000
Argentina 158 40’091’359 253’743
Armenia 4 3’263’600 815’900
Aruba 1 107’000 107’000
Australia 243 22’642’901 93’181
Austria 192 8’404’252 43’772
Azerbaijan 2 8’997’400 4’498’700
Bahamas 3 353’658 117’886
Bahrain 0 1’262’000 N/A
Bangladesh 1 150’776’000 150’776’000
Barbados 1 273’000 273’000
Belarus 9 9’481’100 1’053’456
Belgium 189 11’007’020 58’238
Belize 1 333’200 333’200
Benin 2 8’778’646 4’389’323
Bermuda 2 64’566 32’283
Bhutan 2 695’822 347’911
Bolivia 11 10’426’154 947’832
Bosnia 9 3’843’126 427’014
Botswana 2 1’800’098 900’049
Brazil 106 190’732’694 1’799’365
Brunei 0 399’000 N/A
Bulgaria 13 7’351’234 565’480
Burkina Faso 1 15’730’977 15’730’977
Burundi 1 8’383’000 8’383’000
Cambodia 6 13’395’682 2’232’614
Cameroon 1 19’406’100 19’406’100
Canada 391 34’492’000 88’215
Cape Verde Islands 1 491’575 491’575
Cayman Islands 3 54’878 18’293
Central African Republic 1 4’401’000 4’401’000
Ceuta 1 75’276 75’276
Chad 1 11’227’000 11’227’000
Chile 55 17’244’900 313’544
China 500 1’339’724’852 2’679’450
Colombia 20 46’034’000 2’301’700
Comoros 0 735’000 N/A
Congo 1 4’043’000 4’043’000
Cook Islands 3 23’400 7’800
Costa Rica 5 4’563’538 912’708
Croatia 26 4’425’747 170’221
Cuba 5 11’241’161 2’248’232
Curaçao 1 142’180 142’180
Cyprus 4 803’147 200’787
Czech Republic 153 10’535’811 68’862
Dem Rep of Congo 3 65’966’000 21’988’667
Denmark 135 5’564’219 41’216
Djibouti 0 889’000 N/A
Dominica 1 68’000 68’000
Dominican Republic 2 9’378’818 4’689’409
East Timor 1 1’124’000 1’124’000
Ecuador 3 14’306’876 4’768’959
Egypt 2 80’418’000 40’209’000
El Salvador 1 6’193’000 6’193’000
England 628 51’446’000 81’920
Equatorial Guinea 1 700’000 700’000
Eritrea 2 5’234’000 2’617’000
Estonia 9 1’340’122 148’902
Ethiopia 7 79’455’634 11’350’805
Falkland Islands 0 3’000 N/A
Faroe Islands 2 48’596 24’298
Fiji Islands 3 861’000 287’000
Finland 44 5’385’620 122’400
France 475 65’000’000 136’842
French Polynesia 1 266’952 266’952
Gabon 1 1’505’000 1’505’000
Gambia 1 1’728’000 1’728’000
Georgia 7 4’436’400 633’771
Germany 1332 81’802’000 61’413
Ghana 3 24’233’431 8’077’810
Greece 17 11’306’183 665’070
Greenland 3 56’452 18’817
Grenada 1 104’000 104’000
Guadeloupe 2 405’500 202’750
Guam 2 180’000 90’000
Guatemala 3 14’361’666 4’787’222
Guernsey 1 62’431 62’431
Guinea 1 9’982’000 9’982’000
Guinea-Bissau 1 1’515’000 1’515’000
Guyana 1 784’894 784’894
Haiti 1 10’085’214 10’085’214
Honduras 2 8’215’313 4’107’657
Hong Kong 3 7’061’200 2’353’733
Hungary 50 10’014’324 200’286
Iceland 9 318’452 35’384
India 31 1’210’193’422 39’038’497
Indonesia 4 237’556’363 59’389’091
Iran 3 75’405’000 25’135’000
Iraq 1 31’672’000 31’672’000
Ireland 32 4’470’700 139’709
Isle of Man 3 83’000 27’667
Israel 18 7’740’900 430’050
Italy 303 60’626’442 200’087
Ivory Coast 1 19’738’000 19’738’000
Jamaica 2 2’741’100 1’370’550
Japan 406 127’950’000 315’148
Jersey 1 92’500 92’500
Jordan 2 6’187’000 3’093’500
Kazakhstan 8 16’158’000 2’019’750
Kenya 4 38’610’097 9’652’524
Kiribati Republic 0 100’000 N/A
Kosovo 2 1’800’000 900’000
Kuwait 0 2’737’000 N/A
Kyrgyz Republic 8 5’418’300 677’288
Laos 4 6’230’200 1’557’550
Latvia 18 2’221’100 123’394
Lebanon 4 4’228’000 1’057’000
Lesotho 1 2’171’000 2’171’000
Liberia 1 3’994’000 3’994’000
Libya 2 6’355’000 3’177’500
Liechtenstein 3 36’157 12’052
Lithuania 51 3’225’300 63’241
Luxembourg 8 502’100 62’763
Macau 1 556’800 556’800
Macedonia 4 2’052’722 513’181
Madagascar 1 20’714’000 20’714’000
Malawi 1 14’901’000 14’901’000
Malaysia 4 27’565’821 6’891’455
Maldives 0 317’280 N/A
Mali 1 14’517’176 14’517’176
Malta 3 416’333 138’778
Marshall Islands 0 54’305 N/A
Martinique 1 397’730 397’730
Mauritania 0 3’460’000 N/A
Mauritius 3 1’280’925 426’975
Mexico 44 112’336’538 2’553’103
Micronesia 1 102’264 102’264
Moldova 11 3’563’800 323’982
Monaco 1 35’000 35’000
Mongolia 4 2’808’900 702’225
Monserrat 0 5’879 N/A
Montenegro 2 625’266 312’633
Morocco 1 32’181’000 32’181’000
Mozambique 1 22’416’881 22’416’881
Myanmar 3 47’963’000 15’987’667
Namibia 1 2’283’000 2’283’000
Nauru 0 10’000 N/A
Nepal 5 28’584’975 5’716’995
Netherlands 129 16’677’100 129’280
New Caledonia 1 245’580 245’580
New Zealand 87 4’408’900 50’677
Nicaragua 1 5’788’000 5’788’000
Niger 1 15’203’822 15’203’822
Nigeria 6 158’423’000 26’403’833
Niue 0 1’500 N/A
Norfolk Island 1 1’828 1’828
North Korea 5 24’346’000 4’869’200
Northern Ireland 6 1’789’000 298’167
Norway 42 4’952’600 117’919
Oman 0 2’694’094 N/A
Pakistan 1 176’409’000 176’409’000
Palau 1 20’000 20’000
Palestine 1 3’935’249 3’935’249
Panama 4 3’405’813 851’453
Papua New Guinea 1 6’703’000 6’703’000
Paraguay 3 6’230’000 2’076’667
Peru 10 29’461’933 2’946’193
Philippines 3 94’013’200 31’337’733
Poland 83 38’186’860 460’083
Portugal 6 10’636’888 1’772’815
Puerto Rico 2 3’725’789 1’862’895
Qatar 0 1’696’563 N/A
Réunion 1 827’000 827’000
Romania 17 21’466’174 1’262’716
Russia 170 142’905’200 840’619
Rwanda 3 10’412’820 3’470’940
Samoa 1 187’032 187’032
San Marino 0 31’887 N/A
São Tomé & Principe 1 165’000 165’000
Saudi Arabia 3 27’136’977 9’045’659
Scotland 61 5’222’100 85’608
Senegal Republic 1 12’434’000 12’434’000
Serbia 16 7’306’677 456’667
Seychelles 1 86’525 86’525
Sierra Leone 1 5’868’000 5’868’000
Singapore 6 5’076’700 846’117
Sint Maarten 0 37’429 N/A
Slovak Republic 18 5’435’273 301’960
Slovenia 35 2’052’120 58’632
Solomon Islands 1 530’669 530’669
Somalia 0 9’331’000 N/A
South Africa 38 49’991’300 1’315’561
South Korea 23 48’988’833 2’129’949
Spain 81 46’148’605 569’736
Sri Lanka 4 21’105’000 5’276’250
St Kitts 1 52’000 52’000
St Lucia 2 166’526 83’263
St Vincent & The Grenadines 1 109’000 109’000
Sudan 1 43’552’000 43’552’000
Suriname 1 525’000 525’000
Swaziland 1 1’186’000 1’186’000
Sweden 57 9’433’875 165’507
Switzerland 335 7’866’500 23’482
Syria 2 21’105’000 10’552’500
Taiwan 9 23’174’528 2’574’948
Tajikistan 1 6’879’000 6’879’000
Tanzania 5 43’187’823 8’637’565
Thailand 15 67’041’000 4’469’400
Tibet 2 2’910’000 1’455’000
Togo 1 6’028’000 6’028’000
Tonga 1 104’000 104’000
Trinidad & Tobago 2 1’317’714 658’857
Tunisia 4 10’549’100 2’637’275
Turkey 10 73’722’988 7’372’299
Turkmenistan 2 5’042’000 2’521’000
Turks and Caicos Islands 1 40’357 40’357
Tuvalu 0 10’000 N/A
Tuvalu 0 10’000 N/A
Uganda 2 31’800’000 15’900’000
Ukraine 27 45’724’242 1’693’490
United Arab Emirates 2 8’264’070 4’132’035
United States Virgin Islands 3 109’000 36’333
Uruguay 9 3’356’584 372’954
USA 1759 311’603’000 177’148
Uzbekistan 13 27’445’000 2’111’154
Vanuatu 2 240’000 120’000
Vatican City 0 500 N/A
Venezuela 6 29’263’000 4’877’167
Vietnam 37 87’375’000 2’361’486
Wales 72 2’999’300 41’657
Yemen 0 22’492’035 N/A
Zambia 2 13’046’508 6’523’254
Zimbabwe 1 12’571’000 12’571’000
Total 9’107    
Comments
  1. Bov says:

    OK, first correction after complaints from some french brewers who are not listed on Bière France😉 I checked also carefully on ratebeer.com and there, 80 breweries more are listed, so 475 instead of 395. And knowing that France is by far not the country the best covered by the Ratebeerians, I suppose the real number could be even higher.

  2. Marcus says:

    Philippe,

    very nice work, thanks a lot. Did you check the Barth-Berichte for Annual Output per Country already? This would give an even more complete picture….

    Thanks again!

    Marcus

  3. Francois says:

    Happy to be swiss !🙂

  4. Peter Skutka says:

    Czech Republic -190
    Slovakia – 25,
    list of breweries and their websites on beerborec.cz

  5. […] weltweit die grösste Dichte von Brauereien pro Einwohner hat (siehe auch meinen Artikel “Number of breweries worldwide“), tendiere ich zu denken, dass die Wachstumsphase bald Vergangenheit sein wird (vermutlich […]

  6. […] world in total beer consumption (you can see the full data here), but guess who leads the world in total number of breweries? The good old land of the free, that’s who. And that’s not […]

  7. […] than 2 years after my first post on this subject and considering the pace at which the market is evoluting, it is time to grab this subject […]

  8. […] Number of Breweries Worldwide – 7/2/2011 […]

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