Spain’s breweries are warning that their industry is under threat from Brexit. The UK is the third-biggest importer of Spanish beers and British consumers knock back two or three times as much beer as the domestic market.
Jacobo Olalla, managing director of Spain’s beer producer association Cerveceros de España, said last month that the industry has already felt the effects of economic slowdown as well as a drop in numbers of British tourists. He is predicting that Brexit will have a large impact on the Spanish beer market, both in terms of exports and tourism.
Last year, Spain exported 2.97 million hectolitres of beer of which almost 16 per cent went to the UK. The summer holiday season accounts for almost a third of all beer drunk in Spain, and the industry fears this will drop if British tourists fail to arrive.
Spain is the fourth largest beer producer in the EU, selling over 40 million hectolitres last year, mainly to bars and restaurants. It is Spain’s most popular cold drink consumed outside the home, where consumption has been falling.
The volume of non-alcoholic beer sold accounts for 15 per cent of the market, compared with just four per cent in France, reflecting the Spanish preference for dining outside with friends and family.
The UK is the third-biggest importer of Spanish beers.