Members of the European Parliament get hands on experience at one of Europe’s oldest breweries

Opublikowano: 16 lipca 2015

Strasbourg, 9 July 2015 – The Brewers of Europe and Brasseurs de France welcomed Members of the European Parliament to the METEOR brewery just outside Strasbourg yesterday. Seizing the opportunity of a rare moment between votes, a cross-party delegation of MEPs from 9 countries came to see the brewing process first-hand and better understand the craftsmanship and innovation that goes into brewing Europe’s favourite drink.

The visit allowed MEPs from across the political spectrum a rare opportunity to get up close to the policy issues most affecting Europe’s brewers. Currently in the EU we brew around 38 billion litres of beer each year, with around 100 different beer styles and an estimated 40 thousand different brands on the market. Contributing over €50 billion each year to GDP and also generating over €50 billion in tax revenues for EU governments, beer also makes a large contribution to the European growth agenda. In times of high unemployment, it is also important to recall that beer alone secures 2 million jobs in the EU, from the farmers cultivating the cereals and hops to the bar staff serving the beers.

Beer is also a key part of European heritage, with the beer culture a key factor in many tourist visits to Europe. Founded in 1640, METEOR brews 9 different beers, employs close to 200 people and has an annual turnover of €40 million.  As brewers depend on supportive legislation to ensure a competitive European beer sector, this visit was a key opportunity for MEPs to understand the impact policies can have at the local level.

The European Parliament Beer Club was established in 1995 and is a cross-party, transnational forum for exchange amongst MEPs about issues affecting the brewing sector. The EP Beer Club membership currently counts over 90 MEPs and it is hoped that such activities can help to grow the cross-party membership even further. With beer brewed in every single EU Member State, the Club also has an ambition to include MEPs from across the whole of Europe.

Michel Haag, 7th generation brewer, President of the METEOR brewery, current Vice President of Brasseurs de France and former Vice President of The Brewers of Europe, said: “It was a pleasure to be hosting so many Members of the European Parliament in our brewery. For me and for the thousands of breweries across Europe, this is sending a clear message that Europe cares about its brewing sector. We count on the European Parliament to ensure fair policies that support a competitive and sustainable beer sector in Europe. It was a great honour that MEPs took precious time out of their busy schedules to visit my brewery, to experience brewing first hand and to understand the issues faced by brewers in Europe.”

Renate Sommer, MEP and President of the EP Beer Club, said: “As part of the activities organised within the EP Beer Club I was really keen to visit a brewery so that my colleagues and I could get a clear understanding of the brewing process. It was great to see so many fellow MEPs, from all over Europe and from across the political landscape. Thanks to Mr Haag, MEPs could see the natural ingredients, the craftsmanship and the importance of innovation for brewers. Within the EP Beer Club we recognise the contribution that beer makes to Europe’s culture, to its society and to its economy. After the visit of the METEOR brewery, I hope the European Parliament now also has an even better insight into the issues faced by brewers in Europe, giving a tangible context to the legislative debates we have in the Parliament.”

François Loos, President of the French Brewers association, said: “Recent years have seen a flourishing of breweries on the French beer market, reflecting a trend that is taking place across Europe. Whilst the numbers of breweries in Europe is now estimated at around 6000, there are currently over 700 breweries active in France. Alongside brewery dynasties such as METEOR, many of these breweries are new businesses, contributing to the diversity of beer tastes, colours and styles that are making for such fascinating times on the European beer scene.”

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, concluded: “We were delighted with such a strong turn-out. If we are to ensure a competitive brewing sector, it is vital to Europe’s brewers that decision-makers have the opportunity to experience the brewing process in the same way we do. It is wonderful to see this tour so well-attended and with such enthusiasm!”

Beer & Health Symposium assesses the role for moderate beer consumption in an adult’s healthy lifestyle

Opublikowano: 1 października 2014

Brussels, 30 September: At today’s 7th European Beer & Health Symposium in Brussels, scientists presented some of the latest research on the potential effects for health of moderate beer consumption[1], thereby confirming that moderate beer consumption by healthy adults can be fully compatible with a balanced lifestyle.

The Chairman of the Symposium Dr Ramon Estruch said: “This Symposium is a critical milestone for scientific research on the health effects of moderate beer consumption by healthy adults. I am confident that the research presented and discussed today should make a constructive and fruitful contribution to the overall debate on the relationship between beer and health.”

The Symposium provides a platform for scientists that have researched, in their specialised field, the effects of moderate beer consumption on health, to present both their research and their perspectives on the relationship between moderate beer consumption and health. The Symposium was structured around three sessions.

The first session “Beer: What’s in it?” focused on beer’s ingredients and the role they can play in an adult’s diet. In particular, it touched on the potential for gluten-free beer and the research being undertaken to assess the potential of certain ingredients as a means to improve the health benefits of beer.

The second session “Beer’s Place in the Diet” looked at beer’s place in a healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, a diet that is associated with decreased rates of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The session also revealed, comparing calorie counts for different foods and drinks, that there is no scientific basis for beer causing abdominal obesity (the so-called “beer belly”) when it is consumed moderately.

The final session “Moderate consumption of beer and your health” presented scientific studies that looked in more detail at the current scientific consensus on beer’s protective effect for heart and respiratory tract health. Looking specifically at fermented beverages, including the effects of components in beer such as polyphenols, this protective effect from moderate beer consumption was also confirmed for patients who have previously suffered a heart attack.

The Symposium also presented the Young Scientist Award, received this year by Ilse C. Schrieks, whose winning scientific project looked at the link between moderate consumption and type 2 diabetes. This award was open for scientists under 35 and is designed to acknowledge research contributions that further the development and knowledge regarding the health effects of moderate consumption of beer and its role in an adult’s healthy lifestyle.

The Chairman of the Symposium Dr Ramon Estruch said: “The abstracts submitted made it both a difficult choice for the Scientific Committee members to find a winner and illustrated the wealth and quality of beer and health research being conducted by Europe’s young scientists. We hope that this can be the start of something big amongst Europe’s up-and-coming scientific community.”

About the European Beer and Health Symposium

The European Beer and Health Symposium is usually held in Brussels every second or third year, and focuses on the latest research on the relationship between moderate beer consumption and health. This year is the 7th edition of the Symposium.

It provides a platform for scientists that have researched the effects of moderate beer consumption on health to present both their research and their perspectives on the relationship between moderate beer consumption and health.

Symposium spokespeople for media:

  • Dr Ramon Estruch (Spanish-language) – Chair of the Symposium and Scientific Committee
  • Prof Frans J. Kok (English-language) – Member of the Symposium Scientific Committee

Media enquires around the 7th Beer and Health Symposium and requests for interview should be directed to:

[1] Although drinking recommendations and definitions of “moderate drinking” vary from one country to another, scientific literature looking at overall all-cause mortality suggests that regular consumption of up to 2 glasses a day for men and up to 1 glass a day for women (i.e. avoiding excessive drinking) may have a protective effect on health. However, this statement may not be generalised to the overall population since some individuals with a specific genetic background already have a more favourable cardiovascular profile. Thus, it is always recommended to check with your General Practitioner for personal guidance on drinking.

European beer sector can help turn around ailing EU economy

Opublikowano: 21 lutego 2014

Brussels, 20 February 2014: A key report published today by EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and Regioplan reveals that Europe’s brewers can play a critical role in creating employment opportunities for young people, thereby giving a timely boost to the EU’s fragile economy.

According to the report, the EU’s beer sector is responsible for creating 2 million jobs – equal to 1% of all EU jobs – with other sectors such as agriculture, packaging, logistics, marketing, retail and hospitality benefitting considerably from a vibrant and dynamic beer sector.

This report demonstrates beyond any doubt that the EU beer sector remains a global leader despite the economic challenges that have beset most of the EU since 2008“, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary-General of The Brewers of Europe. “Moreover, the nature of our business means that we can support a flexible labour market that enables job seekers, particularly young people, to acquire quality jobs and play an active role in Europe’s economic recovery.


Following a very challenging three years at the start of the economic crisis, where beer consumption declined by 8% across the EU, the beer market is now picking up with a modest increase of 1% over two years. Production has also increased by 2% as the thirst for European beer grew not only within the EU but also outside it, with the EU brewing sector’s annual trade surplus reaching €3 billion.

With brewing showing its potential to contribute to the EU’s growth, employment and trade ambitions, it is however important that this potential be supported, not hindered. Nearly 15% of the jobs created by beer in the brewing value chain, primarily those in pubs, bars and cafés, have been lost since 2008 as already difficult trading conditions were exacerbated by sharp increases in VAT rates and excise taxes that particularly hit both sales and jobs in the hospitality sector. Beer excise duties have been increased by 14 Member States since 2010, with France doing so by a massive 160% in 2013.

Latterly however, some governments have recognised both the contribution made by beer to the economy and job creation, and the need to support this, with the UK and Denmark actually reducing beer taxes in 2013 to help solve wider economic problems, rather than seeing the sector merely as a quick source of tax revenue. Whilst in Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, potential increases were either abandoned or reduced in response to a growing awareness of the contribution made by the beer value chain to economic growth and jobs and the negative effects that could result from the proposed tax hikes.

As the catalyst for other sectors to grow and prosper, brewing is very much a touchstone for the EU’s economic performance as a whole and, as a truly cross-sectoral industry, should be nurtured and supported by decision-makers across the Continent.

Concluding, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron remarked: “The brewing sector has huge potential to generate jobs and growth, as described in this report and in a report at the end of 2013 by the European Economic & Social Committee. It is high-time for EU decision-makers to help our sector realise this potential by reducing the financial burden on Europe’s 4500 breweries, enabling us to actively contribute to the EU’s economic recovery.


Downloads & links


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.

About the Report on the Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy

This study was commissioned by The Brewers of Europe and aimed to quantify the economic impact of the brewing sector in 31 European countries. It is the fifth edition of the economic impact research undertaken by Regioplan and EY (formerly Ernst & Young).

To access the full study, click here.

The Brewers of Europe meets EU Health Commissioner and discusses landmark road safety partnership

Opublikowano: 17 maja 2013

Brussels, 17 May 2013: The Brewers of Europe, representing 4,000 breweries across Europe and already the lead committer to the EU’s European Alcohol and Health Forum, today demonstrated its commitment to tackling drink driving when its President met with the EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg to discuss the sector’s landmark three-year ‘Sober Mobility Across Road Transport’ (SMART) partnership with a road safety NGO.

The Brewers’ President Demetrio Carceller highlighted that the SMART partnership with the European Transport Safety Council is the first ever joint commitment, by a pan-European business association with a leading pan-European NGO, to the Alcohol and Health Forum. It will deliver guidelines, best practice, dialogue at national level and engage interested stakeholders, including through high-profile EU and national events.

“The pioneering SMART commitment with ETSC is the ideal way of building on decades of awareness-raising on drink driving by Europe’s brewers and partnerships at local, national and EU level,” said Carceller. “It is also a way for The Brewers of Europe to build on our role as the leading contributor, now with one hundred commitments, to the European Alcohol and Health Forum.”

Marking the launch of SMART at the Alcohol and Health Forum Plenary meeting, Graziella Jost, ETSC Director of Projects said, “We acknowledge that alcohol is a major risk factor on the roads, and we need cooperation from across the range of public and private stakeholders to further our commitment to tackle drink driving, including the road safety community, the public health and medical community, alcohol industry and others.”

The meeting between The Brewers and Commissioner Borg also saw Carceller present a progress report on the ‘European Beer Pledge’, launched in 2012. In addition to the SMART partnership, the report, assured by KPMG, outlined new activities since last year by brewers across Europe to increase consumer information, enforce responsible advertising and directly address alcohol misuse.

Carceller explained to the Commissioner that, “The progress outlined in the European Beer Pledge interim report shows that the EU’s multi-stakeholder, voluntary approach is working.” He added that “Europe’s brewers have listened carefully to what policymakers and citizens expect from our sector. We are committed to stepping up, meeting expectations and delivering results.”

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers, who also attended the meeting, reaffirmed the sector’s commitment to the partnership approach. He said, “For some stakeholders, the brewing sector’s continued efforts and unwavering commitment to the EU’s strategy and the European Alcohol and Health Forum will never be enough. Hopefully, the pioneering steps we are taking will lead to all stakeholders fully embracing the partnership approach.”

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 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 Beer Pledge First Year Interim 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 the European Transport Safety Council (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.

Parliament approves bill damaging French beer culture

Opublikowano: 4 grudnia 2012

Despite the best and combined efforts of brewers, bar-owners, consumers, politicians, citizens and celebrities over the last six weeks, the French Parliament last night approved a bill to hike French beer tax by a massive 160%. Despite the best efforts of the French Senate, twice sending the law back to the Parliament with a modest amendment – proposing a still substantial 120% tax increase – the law was passed without further modifications.

Following the adoption, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The brewers of Europe, commented: “What makes this even more galling is that beer has been singled out amongst the other alcoholic beverages – despite beer only representing 16% of the French drink market and per capita beer consumption in France already being the second lowest in the EU.” The measure will hit all brewers and all beers, with only a slightly lower increase for some medium-sized breweries. Bergeron said: “One of the few rays of light for the French beer sector during the economic crisis has been the growth in micro-breweries, but these small businesses will also be hit with a 160% hike. And as for any health arguments that have entered the debate, one only has to note that it is the lowest strength alcoholic beverage that is being singled out here and even non-alcoholic beers will be hit by the top rate of 160%.

The measure will hit not just French brewers but all brewers exporting to  France. Bergeron commented: “30% of French beer consumption is imported beer, coming mostly from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and the UK. Simply put this tax increase destroys the business model of many of these brewers and may indeed lead to a number of brewery closures.

The hospitality sector has been fighting the measure hand in hand with the brewers throughout the autumn. In total around 65 thousand jobs are generated by beer in France, of which 70% in the hospitality sector – beer representing over a third of the revenues for cafés and brasseries. Referring to the contradictory nature of this supposedly growth-stimulating measure of the French government, Bergeron stated: “The beer market in France is forecast to decline by up to 15% as a result of this measure and jobs in the 35 thousand hospitality establishments in France would be particularly hard hit. With the tax expected to lead to a 25 to 40 cent increase in the price of a small beer, this will further accelerate the existing trend from café to home consumption, which has already contributed to the closure of 12 thousand establishments since 2007.

To note that the French opposition party has already signalled its intention to refer the case in the coming days to the French Constitutional Court as a potential discriminatory measure between beers on the one side and wine and cider on the other.

The current and new tax rates


Brewery size Current rate New rate Increase
In hectolitres (100l) In Euros per % ABV per hectolitre (1OO litres) Percentage
≤ 10 000 hl 1.38 € 3.6 € 160 %
10 001 –  50 000 hl 1.64 € 3.6 € 120 %
50 001 – 200 000 hl 2.07 € 3.6 € 75 %
> 200 000 hl 2.75 € 7.2 € 160%
Beers ≤ 2.8% ABV

regardless of brewery size

1.38 € 3.6€ 160%


Europe’s brewers welcome 20 Years of the EU Single Market

Opublikowano: 15 października 2012

Brussels, 15 October 2012: As the European Union and its Member States begin a week of celebrations to mark 20 years of the Single Market and prepare for SME Week 2012, Europe’s brewers reflect on how the beer sector has been able to grow and contribute to economic growth and employment and on the important role that SMEs continue to play.

The Single Market has greatly benefited Europe’s consumers by facilitating access to the full diversity, variety and choice of beers across Europe, which includes an estimated 120 beer styles and 40,000 brands. The ability for brewers to make their products available to all of Europe’s consumers is also a key driver in keeping Europe at the forefront of global brewing expertise and innovation.

Europe’s approximately 3,500 SMEs represent around 40% of EU beer production. They are a critical part of a sector that supports two million jobs, contributes €50.6 billion per year in total government revenues across the EU and accounts for around 0.5% of the total EU economy.

Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, Secretary General of The Brewers of Europe, said “Europe’s brewers have benefitted considerably from the EU Single Market and we join the EU institutions and Member States in celebrating its 20 year anniversary.

Europe’s brewers strongly welcomed President Barroso’s speech at the last annual ‘Beer Serves Europe’ gala dinner in November 2011, where the European Commission President outlined plans for “helping businesses, generating demand and reducing fragmentation in the Single Market” and “reducing the regulatory burden for SMEs.

Bergeron added, “The EU brewing sector has publically committed to supporting the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. A renewed focus on SMEs supports economic growth and the drive towards full employment and will help Europe’s brewers, who produce beer in every EU Member State, to fully contribute to the economic recovery.


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