Europe runs on beer
Hardly a revelation, if you've ever been into a bar in Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, etc. etc. etc., but it's nice to have some figures at last.
Beer is also responsible for €39 billion of European government's tax income, and Europe is the largest Beer-producing region in the world - churning out 416 million hectolitres (whatever they are) of beer annually - 200 million more than the US or China, the next two highest. (Which sort of goes to show that those Communists can't be all bad, eh? And Chinese beer beats the American stuff hands-down and all - give me a Tsingtao over a Budweiser any day.)
To put it into some kind of perspective, €57.5 billion is approximately France's annual defence budget (no sniggering at the back - they haven't surrendered in ages), about half the value of Turkey's annual trade (again, shush, now - they're doing better these days) and more than the annual government expenditure of both Poland and Finland (this is the point when I should give up with the comparisons, isn't it?).
Either way, beer's great and it's good for the economy and stuff. Hurrah! It is now our solemn duty to drink more beer to help the economy and preserve all those jobs, so get down the pub sharpish - considering how hot it's been today, mine's a pint of IPA, ta.
(Don't trust that EUpolitix report linked above, by the by, it appears to have been written by someone on work experience and all the facts are wrong. Instead check out the executive summary .pdf)