NL residents drinking less traditional beer, more alcohol-free
This past summer, beer consumption in the Netherlands was 8 percent lower than in the same period last year, though the consumption of alcohol-free beer increased by 3 percent, NU.nl reports based on figures from Nederlandse Brouwers.
Non-alcoholic beer now accounts for 7 percent of all hectoliters of beer drunk in the Netherlands, compared to just over 1.5 percent ten years ago. In the same period, the share of lager decreased from some 90 percent to just over 75 percent. The share of specialty beer like IPA or ales doubled in the past decade, from 6 to 12 percent.
According to the Nederlandse Brouwers, the increasing popularity of both non-alcoholic and specialty beer is all to do with increased supply and being increasingly accepted in society. "There is a lot of choice and it is also increasingly drunk with dinner, for example," a spokesperson said to NU.nl.
Research by the Dutch brewers showed that the percentage of Netherlands residents who sometimes drink beer decreased from 48 percent to 45 percent in the past five years. Fewer men drink beer, among women the percentage remained stable. Beer consumption decreased among older age groups, but increased among young people between the ages of 18 and 30. "Beer has become hipper, especially thanks to the non-alcoholic variants and specialty beers," the spokesperson said.
In the period from August 2020 to July 2021, a total of 10.6 million hectoliters of beer were sold in the Netherlands. Lager accounted for 8.2 million hectoliters, specialty beer for 1.3 million, and alcohol-free beer for almost 740 thousand hectoliters.