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Not a good time to be a French Brewer 8^(

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I thought that was an increase on the existing tax rate on beer, which is low. So the result is that the price of a bottle of beer goes up 0.08 Euro. Not good to have it go up, but not taxed at 160% of the cost of the bottle of beer. They still will not be the highest in Europe for beer tax.

The wine industry does have a good lobby.

The biggest problem the French brewers have with the law is two-fold.

First, it unfairly targets a specific part of an industry, while the other alcoholic beverage producers get a tax hike of around 20-30%.

Second, while there are reductions in the tax rate for certain production sizes, both the biggest (InBev, Kronenbourg) and the smallest (Doughboy Brewing Company) get hit at the same rate, which doesn't make much sense when you're giving lip service in the French parliament to 'our small family artisans.' Plus the tax increases with ABV, so as you can imagine that hurts the little guys even more.

On top of all that, there's a third thing that really gets me, and that's the attempted legislation of morality via taxation. The complaint is that too many people are getting sick due to drinking too much cheap beer, so hey, let's make it harder for them to do so. That won't work, especially when you can get s***faced much more efficiently on Beaujolais Nouveau for €3/ liter.

On the other hand, I think this could actually be a good thing for French beer quality overall. It is incredibly easy to open a brewery in France, and the general population does not have the same education on what beer should be as do Americans. This means that, due to the low barrier to entry, any jerk can make beer and sell it, and since people like to buy locally and "artisanal" they'll buy that guy's beer. Since they don't know what good beer should taste like, they think this sour/infected/sugary/hot mess is what real beer is supposed to taste like, and when you show them something good they don't know what to make of it.

So how is the tax thing a good thing in this scenario? The guys who just phone it in will be unable to compete for that stretched consumer euro because the consumer won't put up with a more expensive but still crappy product. The innovators will absorb that market share, and (hopefully) crowd out the crap beer with really great beer, leading more people to realize that craft beer can really actually be excellent.

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good analysis phil.

Isn't France supposed to be a socialist paradise?
Gotta pay for all that "free" stuff somehow.

Some facts on tax rates on beer.


Without trying to get political, Former Eastern block is low. Scandinavia is very high as I found in my business trips to Sweden. My Swedish friends said it was a "sin tax".

Edit - I knew the tax in Germany was low. It was lower on wine, from what my friends said.


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