French authorities introduced a 160% rise in the tax on beer in January

French authorities introduced a 160% rise in the tax on beer in January

Brewers in France have blamed a rise in beer duty in the country for a marked fall in production in the first three months of 2013.

French beer production dropped by 30% in the first quarter, according to trade body the Brasseurs de France (BdF). The organisation said earlier today (17 June) that the strong decline in output was largely a result of a 160% increase in duties “without precedent” on beer, which took effect on 1 January.

In the hypermarket/supermarket channel, which represents 75% of sales, the BdF said prices had risen by 14% on the corresponding period a year earlier.

Prior to the duty rise, distributors began over-stocking at the end of last year, BdF noted.

It said French brewers' annual fiscal contribution was now “significantly superior” to its share of France's alcohol market, and called for the situation to be “stabilised”.