Building a positive future for Europe’s SME brewers

Forst (Italy), 19 April 2013 – Today and tomorrow, SME brewers from across Europe are gathering in northern Italy to discuss the role for beer and brewers in a challenging EU business environment. Hosted by the Forst brewery and organised by The Brewers of Europe in partnership with its Italian member, Assobirra, this bi-annual event represents a unique opportunity for Europe’s small and independent breweries to come together and debate in a convivial and lively way the big issues they all face, and the ways to succeed in today’s Europe.

Organised for the brewers, by the brewers, in the beautiful surroundings of the Merano valley, brewers from 14 European countries (Italy, Hungary, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Belgium, Poland, Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom) are delivering concrete stories and examples from across the continent, including on facing up to the mood for increased taxes, setting up a successful brewing business in a challenging environment, building on Europe’s reputation for high quality beer craftsmanship to enter other markets, and building reputation of the beer category as a whole.

Beer, unique amongst alcoholic drinks, is brewed in every single one of the European Union’s Member States, creating over 2 million jobs. It is also an integral part of Europe’s heritage and cultures, with an estimated 4 thousand breweries in Europe producing over a hundred different beer styles and offering up to 40 thousand different beer brands to the hundreds of millions of consumers both in Europe and globally.Whilst the beer cultures across Europe vary significantly, with differing beer styles and consumption habits, beer plays an important role in every country and the thousands of brewers have far more shared interests and concerns than differences. Whilst brewers are rightly proud of their brands, they are also modest and generous enough to know they all have a great deal to learn from and share with each other.

Opening the seminar Vice-President of The Brewers of Europe, Franco Thedy of Birra Menabrea in Italy, stated: “Europe’s fascinating brewing landscape encompasses larger and smaller breweries. This diversity in size is an asset upon which all brewers can build and which together can continue to enhance Europe’s beer heritage.” The seminar is also featuring presentations from brewers in Sweden, France and the United Kingdom, all keen to share their experiences and learn from their brewer compatriots across Europe.

Italy itself has experienced a remarkable renaissance in brewing over recent years, with the number of breweries operating on the Italian market growing exponentially, driven primarily by a thirst for the variety and diversity that beer can offer, from what are essentially the same four core ingredients drawn from nature – malted cereals, hops, yeast and water.

Indeed the Forst brewery is an example of the virtues of combining tradition and family values with modern technologies, a brewery that has adapted to today’s economic landscape, whilst keeping true to its local character and the community around it.




Press contact details The Brewers of Europe

Simon Spillane

Senior Advisor – Communications


Tel.: +32 (0)2 551 1810


Press contacts details AssoBirra

INC – Istituto Nazionale per la Comunicazione

Simone Silvi +39 06 44160881 – +39 3475967201 – s.silvi@inc-comunicazione.it

Matteo de Angelis +39 06.44160834 – +39 3346788708 – m.deangelis@inc-comunicazione.it

About The Brewers of Europe

For more than a half century The Brewers of Europe has been the Brussels-based voice of the European brewing sector towards the European institutions and international organisations. Founded in 1958, it has 28 members, comprising 24 national brewer associations from the EU, Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. http://www.brewersofeurope.org/.


About AssoBirra

AssoBirra, the Association of Beer and Malt Producers, represents the beer and malt producing companies in Italy. It is affiliated with Confindustria, Federalimentare, The Brewers of Europe, Euromalt (Comité de Travail des Malteries) and EBC (European Brewery Convention). AssoBirra performs institutional duties and promotes technological development, beer culture and responsible consumption. This mission is carried out through the conducting of studies and research on quality and technological innovation of production processes and through PR campaigns aimed at promoting a greater knowledge of beer and a culture of responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages.