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Craft Beer in the EU: Exploring Different Markets and Systems Across the Continent

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The Geography of Beer

Abstract

Micro- and craft breweries have registered a significant growth across Europe in the last two decades, but the EU beer market presents a high level of variation mainly associated with different regulatory frameworks and consumers’ preferences in each EU country. By addressing the variety of breweries, fiscal systems and consumers’ attitudes across the continent, this chapter examines the diversity of EU national beer markets, providing an overview of a wide range of issues affecting the development of micro- and craft breweries within the EU beer and brewing industry.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This issue may not apply to other countries and/or geographical areas. In the United States, for instance, the Brewers Association (2016) defines craft brewers as small brewers (annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less) operating in the form of independent business (less than 25% of the craft brewery is owned by a beverage alcohol industry member that is not itself a craft brewer).

  2. 2.

    Approved by Parliament in 1989, these orders forced largest brewers to either sell or free a large number of their pubs from being tied to them. While intended to break the monopoly of larger breweries, their main outcomes was that newly formed estate companies (pubcos) bought large stocks of pubs at cheaper prices, with pubs then run as managed businesses supplied by a very limited range of breweries (Preece 2016).

  3. 3.

    See next section.

  4. 4.

    Directive 92/83/EEC—harmonised structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic drinks. Available at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/LSU/?uri=CELEX:31992L0083.

  5. 5.

    VAT, also known as Goods and Services Tax (GST), is a type of incremental tax based on the increase in value of a product or service at each stage of production or distribution. In the EU, the VAT is usually a flat tax collected by the end retailer on behalf of central governments.

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Cabras, I. (2020). Craft Beer in the EU: Exploring Different Markets and Systems Across the Continent. In: Hoalst-Pullen, N., Patterson, M. (eds) The Geography of Beer. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41654-6_12

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