Beer production in the Czech Republic is expected to rise slightly this year, according to recent figures. Estimates from the Czech Association of Beer and Malt Producers suggest that total output for 2004 should beat 2003's 18.55m hectolitres by around 0.5%.

Czech breweries expect record-high beer exports of 2.4m hectolitres for 2004, which would be an increase of 12% year-on-year, the association's chairman, Jan Vesely, told a news conference.

The main export destination for the Czech breweries is the German market. Slovakia, the UK and the US are also among Czech breweries' most important export markets.