Brewers: Parliament Resolution highlights need to tackle alcohol misuse in Europe

Opublikowano: 11 marca 2014

Brussels, 11 March 2014: Following the adoption last night of a Resolution on the EU Alcohol Strategy by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, The Brewers of Europe reiterates the Brewers’ commitment to action against alcohol-related harm.

“The Parliament’s Resolution on the EU Alcohol Strategy rightly highlights the need to tackle alcohol misuse, including underage and binge drinking, as well as drink-driving and drinking during pregnancy,” said Pierre Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe. “If we are to ensure safe and sensible drinking in Europe, interactive dialogue, strong partnerships, and above all definitive, targeted and collective action are vital.”

The Brewers believe that targeted actions against alcohol misuse are a prerequisite for achieving the objectives of the EU Strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm. Although alcohol consumption has declined during the economic crisis, significant alcohol misuse-related problems still remain. The Brewers believe that this merely reinforces the need for the prime focus to be enforcement of existing legislation and targeted, local-level activities aimed at the minority who misuse alcohol, rather than introducing new, top-down, overall consumption-focused measures from afar.

The Brewers are fully engaged in initiatives targeted at alcohol misuse through major commitments, such as the EU Beer Pledge, marketing self-regulation, the SMART project aimed at reducing drink driving, launched in collaboration with the EU-wide NGO the European Transport Safety Council, and the European Alcohol & Health Forum, and are also involved in a multitude of local partnerships.

“The Brewers welcome the Parliament’s call for the Commission to consult relevant stakeholders such as the Forum, where the Brewers are responsible for over 100 of the 250 commitments put forward to date,” said Mr Bergeron.

“Given our active involvement in the Forum, it should come as no surprise that the Brewers support MEPs in their call to encourage all alcohol stakeholders to participate in the Forum and thereby enable it to develop effective actions to reduce alcohol-related harm.”

The Brewers remain supportive of the current EU Strategy, which gives a key role to the European Union in steering national and local discussions via the sharing of best practices, data and evidence.

Bergeron concluded: “In all of our efforts to tackle alcohol misuse we should not lose sight of the fact that beer is a social drink that, when consumed in moderation – as is done by the vast majority – can form part of an adult’s balanced and healthy lifestyle. Indeed the Resolution recognises this fact and as Brewers we are committed to the ongoing promotion of responsible beer consumption.”


Contact details

Simon Spillane, Communications Senior Advisor, The Brewers of Europe
+32 (0)2 551 1810;


About The Brewers of Europe

Founded in 1958 and based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe unites the national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries

Slovenia becomes 29th member of The Brewers of Europe

Opublikowano: 5 czerwca 2013

3 June – The Brewers of Europe has approved the candidature of Slovenia as its 29th member.

Beer is brewed in every EU country and Slovenia is no exception, with a rich beer brewing heritage that today creates around 10 thousand jobs. With Slovenians consuming around 80 litres per capita, Slovenian breweries brew over 150 million litres of beer each year, approximately a quarter of which is exported.

The Association of Slovene Brewers was welcomed into the European umbrella association for brewers at a meeting of The Brewers of Europe´s General Assembly in Luxembourg.


Notes to editors: 

Media contact

Simon Spillane: +32 2 551 18 10,


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 29 members, comprising 25 national brewer associations from the EU, Croatia, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Among the roughly 4000 brewers across Europe, the vast majority are small and medium-sized, local and family-run businesses. 2 million jobs are created by the European brewing sector.

Europe’s brewers report significant 'Beer Pledge’ progress on occasion of the 12th EU Alcohol and Health Forum Plenary meeting

Opublikowano: 25 kwietnia 2013

BRUSSELS, 25 April 2013: Speaking at the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF), The Brewers of Europe announced progress on implementation of the European Beer Pledge, including a new landmark partnership with the European Transport Safety Council.

Launched one year ago in the presence of the EAHF Chair, the Pledge promised actions to increase consumer knowledge, ensure responsible advertising and directly address alcohol misuse.  A new report, assured by KPMG, shows how Europe’s brewers have stepped up, numerically, geographically and in scope and kept their promise that the Pledge would deliver.

In her foreword to the report, MEP Renate Sommer writes, “I welcomed the commitment to report annually on the implementation and I was impressed to read this first report. It shows brewers’ commitment not just to words, but to action!

The report highlights that progress on the ground owes much to The Brewers of Europe’s commitment to partnering at all levels, including by developing toolkits for the use of brewers and other stakeholders. The new landmark ‘SMART’ partnership between The Brewers of Europe and the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is an example of this approach.


The three-year Sober Mobility Across Road Transport (SMART) partnership is the first ever joint commitment to the EAHF made by a pan-European business association in collaboration with a leading pan-European NGO. It will deliver guidelines, best practice case studies, dialogue at national level and engage interested stakeholders.

The President of The Brewers of Europe, Mr. Demetrio Carceller welcomed the partnership, stating “This first interim report’s publication is coinciding with the launch by the European Transport Safety Council of a pioneering three-year project against drink driving. The Brewers of Europe is delighted to be partnering with ETSC.” The project builds on The Brewers’ leading role in the EAHF and long tradition of supporting drink driving reduction schemes across Europe.

Carceller added that while the Beer Pledge is a work in progress and that many projects cannot yet be reported upon, the ambitious nature of the Beer Pledge shows that the EU’s multi-stakeholder, voluntary approach is working. “I can commit that implementing the Beer Pledge will remain a major priority for The Brewers of Europe, its member associations and individual brewing companies.”


Media contact

Simon Spillane: +32 2 551 18 10,

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. Among the roughly 3,500 brewers across Europe, the vast majority are small and medium-sized, local and family-run businesses. 2 million jobs are created by the European brewing sector.

About the European Beer Pledge

The European Beer Pledge is a voluntary initiative launched in February 2012 by Europe’s brewers to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm. Brewers commit to taking concerted and measurable action to improve consumer information, ensure responsible advertising and address alcohol misuse in line with the expectations of citizens and EU policymakers.

About the Report

The European Beer Pledge should be reported on annually, to allow for a regular monitoring of progress but also further opportunities to identify, evaluate and expand best practice activities. This report constitutes the first year interim report on the European Beer Pledge’s implementation. Focusing on activities supported by members of The Brewers of Europe during and since 2012, this interim report represents a snapshot of initiatives carried out by brewers, through associations, companies and broad coalitions, in line with and contributing to, the implementation of the three pillars of the European Beer Pledge. For full report see:

About the Sober Mobility Across Road Transport (SMART) partnership

In the framework of the three-year SMART project ETSC will:

  • Publish a set of guidelines on rehabilitation programmes for certain categories of drivers convicted for drink driving. The guidelines will also be through a conference that will be organised in Brussels ;
  • Identify and publish case studies on best practice in addressing drink driving: these could come from, among others, individuals, companies, medical professionals, young people, NGOs dedicated to the fight against drink driving;
  • Organise a series of six national events to highlight and debate strategies to tackle drink driving in specific countries;
  • Organise a lunch conference addressing ways of reducing drink driving in the workplace;

Publish regularly the ETSC newsletter ‘Drink Driving Monitor’, one of the best known and read ETSC publications. Each Drink Driving Monitor will be accompanied by the ‘Alcohol Interlock Barometer’, which provides an overview of the legislative developments related to the use of alcohol interlock devices in tackling drink driving.

Building a positive future for Europe’s SME brewers

Opublikowano: 19 kwietnia 2013

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 –

Matteo de Angelis +39 06.44160834 – +39 3346788708 –

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.


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.

The Brewers of Europe elects new President

Opublikowano: 26 listopada 2012

On 23 November The Brewers of Europe appointed Demetrio Carceller as its new President, succeeding Alberto da Ponte.

Demetrio Carceller, Executive Chairman and CEO of S.A. Damm and Corporación Damm S.A, Spain, firmly believes in the unique part the brewing sector, from the smallest breweries to international companies with long-established, local roots, plays in Europe’s socio-economic and cultural patrimony.

A key stakeholder in the country’s economy with an estimated 5.9 billion euro contribution creating over 222,000 direct and indirect jobs, brewing and beer in Spain also contribute to the European heritage with Mediterranean consumption patterns characterised by moderate drinking, sociability and the association of beer with food.

Sharing with Brewer Delegates from 28 European countries his commitment to help The Brewers of Europe build upon his predecessor’s achievements, Carceller said: “The Brewers of Europe vision to shape a beer friendly, smart and prosperous EU business environment is not only noble, but also very concrete. Following the example of my predecessor I will strive to ensure that Europe’s brewing sector, with its unique mix of enterprises of all sizes, pursues its dynamic and pro-active participation in the current battles in and for Europe”.

Saluting the election of his successor, Alberto da Ponte, recently appointed President of RTP – Rádio e Televisão de Portugal said: “I am leaving The Brewers of Europe in the best possible hands. Demetrio Carceller runs one of the main breweries in Spain and has the necessary European vision, optimism and pragmatism to lead The Brewers of Europe throughout the present, global economic turmoil”.

“We all have a part to play for prosperity and well-being, brewers included”, Carceller added.



Picture of Mr Demetrio Carceller


Did you know?

  • Beer is brewed in all 27 EU Member States
  • There are over 3,500 breweries across the EU
  • There are around 40,000 different beers in Europe
  • There are an estimated 130 different beer styles
  • Beer provides over €50bn each year in revenue to EU governments
  • Beer creates over 2 million jobs in the EU

Media contact

Simon Spillane
Senior Advisor – Beer & Society and Communications
The Brewers of Europe
23-25 Rue Caroly
1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 551 1810

Faces of Brewing 2012 winners announced

Opublikowano: 23 listopada 2012

Brussels, 23 November 2012: The photo of a monk checking his modern-day brewery, entitled ‘Father Antoine’, won first prize in this year’s ‘Faces of Brewing’ competition, announced Thursday at the ‘Beer Serves Europe’ gala in Brussels attended by top brewing executives and the European media.

Winning photographer Danny Van Tricht of Belgium received a 1,000 Euro prize for photo equipment, presented by Alberto da Ponte, President of The Brewers of Europe. “Faces of Brewing shines a light on the faces of the brewing sector that create 2 million jobs in the European Union and contribute €50 billion in taxes to EU governments each year,” said da Ponte.

Presenting his image of the 82-year old monk who still conducts a daily quality check of the Rochefort beer, Danny Van Tricht said, “Thank you for the opportunity that the Faces of Brewing competition provides for non-professional photographers like me to put their photos in the spotlight and to all the brewers that have been kind enough to open their doors to me over the last fifteen years.”

The three winners included:

  1. Danny Van Tricht, Belgium, for the image Father Antoine
  2. Michelle Petillo, Belgium, for the image Skye Ale
  3. Gaetano Timpanaro, Italy, for the image The Brewers´ Spent Grains

The three images were chosen by a five-person panel; renowned photographers Adam Berry (former DAPD and Bloomberg) and Charlotte Rea, brewers Alberto da Ponte (The Brewers of Europe) and Steve Leroy (Anheuser-Busch InBev) and MEP Marianne Thyssen, President of the European Parliament Beer Club. They selected the winning images based on creativity and originality, photographic technique and relevance to the competition’s topic.


The competition provides a platform to illustrate the many facets of the ancient art of brewing from the perspective of those with an eye for catching its fleeting moments,” Berry said. “Photographers tell of their unique encounters with the specifically European aspects of an age-old tradition.”

In the two competitions run in 2011 and 2012, organised by The Brewers of Europe, the website received 33,000 visits and 875 photos for consideration, of which 70 were accepted on the website. Over 2,000 people followed the contest through social media channels, voted for their favourite pictures and explored the many faces behind the European beer sector.

Earlier this month, the competition was voted ‘Digital/Online Champion’ at the prestigious ‘European Public Affairs Awards 2012’ in recognition of the successful engagement with its target audience and “the innovative use of digital platforms.



Simon Spillane: +32 2 551 18 10 


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.


Faces of Brewing


European Public Affairs Awards 2012

Brewers’ gala highlights role of sports sponsorships in time of crisis

Opublikowano: 22 listopada 2012

BRUSSELS, 22 November 2012: Tackling the debate over the role of beer in sports sponsorships, The Brewers of Europe’s annual gala highlighted the responsible role that Europe’s more than 3,500 brewers play in supporting grassroots and professional sports.

The ‘Beer Serves Europe’ event took place in Brussels as EU leaders across the city discussed how to stimulate growth while slashing public finances. Meanwhile, preparations were underway for the EU’s ‘4th Open Forum on Alcohol and Health’ the next day to discuss how to address alcohol related harm, educate young people and ensure responsible marketing.

In the panel discussion, the Head of the European Commission’s Sport Unit, Michal Krejza, reiterated that sport is crucial to the well-being of European society, highlighting the essential role the private sector plays in funding sports, as described in the EU White Paper on Sport.

“Sports are a driver for the economy, jobs and social interaction from grassroots to the professional level, and sponsorships are an important source of revenue that play a major role in the development of sport,” Dr. Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of the European Professional Football Leagues, said in his keynote.

He said, “If the Eurozone crisis is to be resolved and vital sectors, such as sport and brewing, are to remain competitive and economically viable, then we need to be able to operate in a sustainable business environment. Any move to further limit beer sponsorship is therefore a step in the wrong direction.

Also on the panel, Mr. Pavlos Photiades, Managing Director of Photos Photiades Breweries noted how his brewery supports hundreds of community sports and cultural events in Cyprus, “We are deeply involved in sustaining grassroots sports, supporting communities and bringing people together. Our support ensures adult teams have the vital equipment and facilities needed, encouraging participation and healthy lifestyles and upholding the Olympic Ideal.”

Europe’s brewers, who support some 2 million jobs across the EU, spend 1 billion Euros annually on sponsorships and supporting their communities. 62 percent of this amount goes to community-based events, covering operating costs of sports organisations at a time of government austerity. This compares with only 11.9 percent for major sports events.

Beer sponsorships provide a lifeline for community events including sports activities, many of which would simply not happen without the support of local brewers and pubs,” said panellist Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, Vice President of the Sport and Recreation Alliance and author of ‘Developing Partnerships in Sport and Leisure’.

Alberto da Ponte, The Brewers’ President closed the event stating: “It’s easy to overlook the European brewing sector’s positive social, cultural and economic impact. We as brewers wish to remain strong supporters of local communities, a fundamental part of Europe’s social fabric and a leader in promoting responsible drinking.”

Highlights will follow soon at

Position on Regulating Price for Public Health Purposes

Opublikowano: 22 czerwca 2012

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The Brewers of Europe, the voice of the European brewing sector, promotes responsible beer consumption and has a proven track record of initiatives that form part of our ongoing work to combat alcohol misuse. By submitting over a third of the commitments to action, Europe’s brewers have become the leading contributors to the EU’s Alcohol and Health Forum. Earlier this year, the brewers renewed their commitment by launching the European Beer Pledge. Through this voluntary initiative, brewers commit to taking concerted and measurable action to improve consumer information, ensure responsible advertising and address alcohol misuse in line with the expectations of citizens and EU policymakers.


However, The Brewers of Europe does not believe that legislative pricing policies, whether imposed through taxation or any other means, are an appropriate way to address alcohol misuse. Tackling alcohol-related harm requires an in-depth analysis of all the drivers of the behaviour of the minority of consumers that misuse alcohol, whilst pricing policies unfairly impact all consumers. The Brewers of Europe  is  convinced that a targeted, evidence-based

approach is the effective and sustainable way forward, recognising that the vast majority of European citizens are responsible, moderate consumers.

Furthermore, with regard to one policy measure being considered in some Member States, The Brewers of Europe has obtained legal advice that prohibiting retail sale below a minimum price based on alcohol content would not be compatible with the European Treaty since it would restrict the free movement of goods, be disproportionate and suspend price competition in an important part of the market. Moreover, minimum pricing could be challenged under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade since it would favour domestic production.
June 2012

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Opublikowano: 25 kwietnia 2012

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BRUSSELS, 23 May 2012: Europe’s brewers are getting greener and reducing the environmental impact of producing beer according to a new report released today. The launch of the report at Green Week 2012 highlights brewers’ reliance on high-quality ingredients including water and cereals, and their efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle.


According to the first report of its kind by Dutch-based consultancy KWA Bedfrijfsadviseurs B.V and research organization Campden BRI, in just two years brewers reduced water use by an  average  of  4.5%  per  litre  of  beer. In  2010 compared  to  2009  this  was  the  equivalent  of about 8 billion litres of water saved, or enough to run a further 32 average-sized1 breweries for a year. 
In  the  period 2008-2010, brewers also used  3.8%  less  energy to  produce  a litre  of  beer, resulting in a decrease in CO2 emissions of 7.1%, equal to the annual use of around 175 000 cars2. Brewers also reduced wastewater from the brewing process by 6.9%. 
One of the trends the report highlights is the consistent use of all of a brewery’s products. For  example,  in  2010, over  6  billion kilograms of brewers’ grain was used as  secondary products, or enough to feed up to 2.4 million cattle3 that year. Brewers’ grains are also used as an additional ingredient in bread, yeast extract, paper, bricks and fuel grade ethanol.
The  Brewers  of  Europe,  the  voice  for  3,500  brewers  large  and  small  across  Europe, welcomed the result.  Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, said  “Beer  in  Europe  is  getting  greener  as  brewers focus  on  innovation  to  improve environmental  performance  while  producing  the same  quality  product  that  consumers deserve.”
The report  concludes  that  the  brewing  sector  in  Europe  is  committed  to continually improving its environmental impact, driving efficiency in energy, water and raw material use while  reducing  emissions  and  waste.  Case  studies  show  there  is  no  step  in  the  brewing process which has not shown an improvement in environmental performance.
“Launching the report during Green Week is a great way to show the progress we have made and  highlight  how  we  are  striving  to  support,  in  particular  throughout  the  economic  crisis, the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth,” Bergeron added. “We
realise there’s more to do, but this study shows we are on the right track and committed to an even greener future.”
He noted further  progress is  already  being  made and  more  is  expected  at  every  level. “Breweries regularly  form  partnerships  with organisations  at  European,  national  and  local levels to help reduce environmental impact, and to encourage consumers to do the same,”
Bergeron said.
The full report is available at:
 On the basis of a brewery producing 500,000hl of beer/year
 On the basis of a diesel-powered sedan car using 135g/km and driving 10,000km a year
 On the basis that brewers’ grains can be fed to cows at 7-10kg/head/day

Simon Spillane: +32 2 551 18 10
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.
KWA Bedrijfsadviseurs B.V. 
KWA Bedrijfsadviseurs B.V. is a business consultancy company specialised in energy, water, soil,  environment,  health,  safety  and  quality.  KWA  has  a  lot  of  experience  in  the  brewing sector. In 2000,  2004 and 2008 KWA carried out the World Wide energy benchmark for  the brewing  sector.  They  advise  brewers  on  energy,  water  and  cost  reduction  and  they developed a software tool for brewing companies to save energy and water.
Campden BRI
Campden  BRI is  the  UK’s  largest  independent  membership-based  organisation  carrying  out research  and  development  for  the  food  and  drinks  industry  worldwide.  It  is  committed  to providing  industry  with  the  research,  technical  and  advisory  services  needed  to  ensure product safety and quality, process efficiency and product and process innovation.

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Europe’s Brewers pledge increased action to combat alcohol misuse

Opublikowano: 1 marca 2012

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Intensifying their support to authorities to fight alcohol misuse, Europe’s 3,500 brewers launched a Pledge at the European Parliament on Tuesday to increase consumer information, enforce responsible advertising and conduct new awareness campaigns reaching out to young adults, drivers, and pregnant women.


The European Beer Pledge, launched at an event hosted by the EP Beer Club and Parliament Magazine, is a package of voluntary initiatives that Europe’s brewers are taking, which empowers EU citizens and leverages the importance of new technologies such as social media to support the European Union and its Member States in their Strategy to reduce alcohol-related harm.
The European Commission’s Despina Spanou, Chair of the EU Forum on Alcohol and Health welcomed the Pledge and Europe’s brewers’ ongoing commitment to the EU strategy and the Forum. She said that of the 212 commitments to the Forum, over one third has been made by Europe’s brewers. “This is quite impressive and one has to acknowledge it,” she said.
Highlighting the role of voluntary approaches, Spanou added “Sometimes through voluntary approaches you can achieve a lot and faster than if you went the legislative route. Also because you have the capacity with multi-stakeholder approaches to adapt to national specificities”.
The event’s host MEP Renate Sommer who steered the 2011 Regulation on food information to consumers through the European Parliament, said: “We want to involve all actors: Members States, producers, retailers, bars, restaurants, doctors, schools, parents and other groups. The EU should have a supportive function.”
Erika Mann, Head of EU policy at Facebook, who also spoke at the event, commended the brewers’ approach, saying: “We are delighted to be able to show our support for the work that The Brewers of Europe are undertaking in their Pledge to improve consumer information, ensure responsible advertising and address alcohol misuse.”
“While beer is generally low-strength and a drink of moderation, its excessive consumption, as for stronger alcoholic beverages, can contribute to ill health” said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary-General of The Brewers of Europe. “The ambitious three-pillar EU Beer Pledge builds on Europe’s brewers’ leading role in the Forum and confirms our commitment to the EU alcohol strategy.”
The Pledge’s implementation will be supported by beer companies and associations. Heineken’s Rutger Goethart said, “Digital media create an opportunity to engage with consumers on responsible beer consumption. We develop digital campaigns to address misuse. Our most recent example is our Sunrise(1) campaign with the Heineken brand, which makes moderate beer consumption aspirational. This message is good for consumers, good for our brand and good for our business.”
The Pledge will be evaluated annually to allow for ongoing measurement of initiatives in line with best practices. Implementation activities may be submitted as actions under the EU’s alcohol-related harm strategy through commitments to the Alcohol and Health Forum. It is hoped that they will provide input to strategies against alcohol misuse at national, regional and global levels.
To highlight that the Pledge is about action, The Brewers of Europe submitted a commitment to the Forum today entitled ‘Self-regulating beer advertising across social media’. The commitment, which the Commission will make publically available shortly, will help to ensure responsible beer advertising on social media.
Already the brewers associations of Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK have submitted their planned activities to support the Pledge’s implementation, through concrete, local activities in 2012.


(1) ‘Sunrise belongs to moderate drinkers’ – the video is available on Facebook and YouTube
» Download this news release
Media contacts
Simon Spillane: +32 2 551 18 10,
Sandy McLean: +44 7786 601 771,
About The European Beer Pledge
The European Beer Pledge is a voluntary initiative by Europe’s brewers to support EU Member States in reducing alcohol related harm. Brewers commit to taking concerted and measurable action to improve consumer information, ensure responsible advertising and address alcohol misuse in line with the expectations of citizens and EU policymakers.
The Pledge consists of three pillars:
Increase consumer information and knowledge through a range of platforms including new technologies.
Ensure responsible advertising.
Directly address misuse.
The Pledge:
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. Among the roughly 3,500 brewers across Europe, the vast majority are small and medium-sized, local and family-run businesses. 2 million jobs are created by the European brewing sector.
About the European Alcohol and Health Forum (EAHF)
The EU Alcohol and Health Forum is a platform where organisations active at European level can debate, compare approaches and act to tackle alcohol related harm. To become members of the European Alcohol and Health Forum organisations must meet certain requirements and make one or more specific commitments for action. The Brewers of Europe is a founding member of the EAHF and brewers have filed over a third of the 200+ commitments to action.
EAHF commitment database:

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