Europe must continue to support the beer sector: Europe’s brewers

The Brewers of Europe, a nonprofit representing more than 12,000 breweries, said Europe must continue to support the beer sector as the continent battles another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The call comes as the body releases its Statistical report on beer trends in Europe 2021, which revealed data on the overall decline in beer sales in the first year of the pandemic.

Statistics showed that the combined sales of beer in 31 European markets fell in 2020 from 385.5 to 354.5 million hectoliters.

This equates to a drop of more than 3 billion liters, which represents a collapse of more than 8% in beer sales.

The brewing sector is still affected by low consumer confidence in certain groups and local restrictions across Europe due to the pandemic.

Brewers of Europe believe that well-targeted framework support can help Brewers bounce back and lead Europe’s recovery through job creation, increased value and the generation of government taxes.

“A solid ground to recover”

Brewers of Europe General Secretary Pierre-Olivier Bergeron said: “As we look to the future, we need to ensure that brewers have a solid base to recover. The beer industry is part of a complex chain involving many companies. Long-term, concrete support will help them resume or maintain their activities.

“Governments must intervene by taking action to deal with the negative economic impact of the pandemic. With targeted support, beer hospitality can boost the economy, generate much-needed government revenue, and boost jobs along the brewing, production, and hospitality value chain. Bars and pubs can once again become pillars of the local community – and with it, the economy.

Statistical report on beer trends in Europe 2021

The 2021 report covers the 27 Member States of the European Union, as well as Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The report highlights how beer production and consumption came to a halt when the pandemic struck, with the hospitality sector taking the brunt of the damage.

In 2020, there was an average 40% drop in hospitality beer sales, a loss slightly offset by retail sales.

The report also notes that the “entrepreneurial boom” observed in the sector also came to a halt in 2020.

Between 2014 and 2019, more than 1,000 new breweries opened each year across Europe.

At the end of 2020, there were some 12,473 active breweries in Europe, with only 225 new breweries opened in the previous 12 months.

Read more: Study finds COVID-19 measures beer sales ‘disproportionately affected’

© 2021 European supermarket magazine. Article by Dayeeta Das. For more information on drinks, click here. Click on subscriberegister for ESM: European Magazine of Supermarkets.

Mary I. Bruner