According to figures released by the Dutch central brewing agency, the Centraal Brouwerij Kantoor (CBK), per capita beer consumption in the Netherlands fell in 2002 to 79.2 litres, compared with 80.5 litres in 2001.

Total beer production also fell, from 25.2m hectolitres in 2001 to 24.9m hectolitres in 2002, the agency said. Beer exports fell from 13.1m hls to 12.9m hls.

The drop in per capita consumption is part of a general trend seen during the past 20 years. In 1981, per capita beer consumption in the Netherlands stood at around 90 litres.