11 March 2016

European brewing sector returns to growth with new breweries created

With over 900 new breweries opening since 2013, the European beer industry has bounced back from the financial crisis. This is one of the key findings of a study released on 23 February 2016 by the Brewers of Europe, a lobby group.

The EU remains the second largest beer producer in the world after China, brewing 384 million hl beer in 2014, though down from 393 million hl in 2009.

More importantly, the number of European breweries has significantly increased in recent years to over 6,500 from 3,473 in 2009.

Total consumer spending on beer was in excess of EUR 110 billion in the EU in 2014 or roughly EUR 200 per inhabitant. “From grain to glass, beer generates an estimated 2.3 million jobs in Europe throughout the value chain. Every single job in a brewery generates a further 17 jobs on average – around 1 percent of total EU employment: 2 in supply and agriculture, 2 in retail and 13 jobs in the bars, pubs, cafés and restaurants offering beer,” the report says.

Exports now constitute around 20 percent of the EU’s beer production (77 million hl and up from 64 million hl in 2009), although a sizeable share would be intra-EU rather than extra-EU.

“Europe remains the traditional heartland of modern brewing. Our reputation for quality and the sector’s focus on innovation and diversity keep the world thirsty for European beer”, noted Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe.

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