France hikes beer tax while French spurn beer

French government has proposed a controversial tax hike on beer in supermarkets and restaurants, while a study has revealed France is one of the smallest consumers of beer in Europe.

France comes second to last in the study for consummation of beer, with the average French person drinking 30 litres per year.

The study, lead by Brasseur de France, looked into beer drinking across several European countries in 2009, and found the Czech Republic drank the most at 135 litres per year. Germany is second at 107 litres.

Wine is France’s most popular tipple, making 59 per cent of all alcohol drank. Beer only makes 16 per cent and spirits 25 per cent.

The beer market has also been in decline for the past 30 years – in 2010 alone the industry saw a 1.7 percent decline on the year before.

Meanwhile, the French government has proposed an excise tax on beer 2.5 times higher than it currently stands, which is expected to bring in €480 million to the social security system.

Brasseur de France calculate this will mean a half pint of beer going from €2,50 to €3, and a pack bought in a supermarket will jump from €10 to €12.

Pascal Chevremont, the general director of Brasseur de France, said: “People will only have one round instead of two. Or worse, more and more we will see people buying beer from supermarkets.”

After the last increase on beer tax in 1997, the French beer market saw a dip of 7 percent in sales.

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