Czech beer consumption at its lowest since 1960s

Czech beer consumption in 2020 fell to its lowest level since the 1960s, according to freshly released data by the Czech Beer and Malt Association.

In 2020, the annual consumption reached 135 litres per capita, seven litres fewer than in the previous year. Meanwhile, Czech beer production reached 20.1 million hectolitres, a near seven percent drop from a record 21.6 million hectolitres in 2019.

The slump in production and consumption was caused mainly by the government restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.

“We brewers have been monitoring the data since the 1950s. Personally, I have never experienced such a situation. I don’t recall pubs and restaurants ever doing so badly,"

František Šámal, the head of the Beer and Malt Association, said in a press release.
Last year, pubs and restaurants accounted for around a quarter of overall beer sales, compared to a third in the previous year.

According to the Beer and Malt Association, around 500 pubs and restaurants were forced to close down as a result of the unfavourable development, and another several hundred are expected to go under this year.

The beer sector has been affected not only by restaurant closures but also by the ban on alcohol consumption in public and the cancelation of sports and cultural events.

Last year, sales of beer in glass bottles increased by six percentage points to 46 percent, while the amount of keg beer sold dropped by eight percentage points to 25 percent.

The sale of beer in plastic bottles remained at 11 percent, while sales of canned beer increased by three percentage points, reaching 15 percent of the total.