Belgian beer triumphs on export markets

Belgian beer exports rose to 11 million hectolitres last year. Belgian beer is in increasing demand abroad and its special ales in particular that are doing well.

The Federation of Belgian Brewers reports that Belgian beer exports surged by 4.7% last year. In money terms the increase was even more impressive, but exact figures are not yet available.

78% of Belgian beer exports go to other EU countries, especially neighbouring countries. Exports beyond the EU have risen by 17%. It's especially the Japanese - up a thumping 73.5% - and the Americans - plus 16.7% - that have fallen for Belgian beer.

The lion's share of Belgian beer exports consists of lager, but the increase is most pronounced among special beers. Grimbergen, Affligem and the Trappist beers Westvleteren, Orval and Chimay posted impressive increases in their export figures.

Leuven-based AB InBev is responsible for half of all Belgium's beer exports. AB InBev markets popular brands including the Stella Artois lager, the Hoegaarden white beer and abbey beer Leffe.