Brewers have a key role to play in fighting youth unemployment


05 Dec 2013


Health & Consumers
Social Europe & Jobs

Press release

BRUSSELS, 4 December 2013: Europe’s 4,500 brewers can play a strong role in fighting youth unemployment and boosting the EU economy with the right government policies, according to a new EY report and panel discussion held on Wednesday, at The Brewers of Europe’s annual gala.


Representatives from the EU Institutions, industry and the media discussed the new EY report on ‘The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy’, which says that the EU brewing sector is responsible for 2 million jobs, representing 1% of all EU jobs. Beer is a vital part of a long value chain; around 1.4 million jobs in the hospitality sector are linked to beer and other sectors such as retail, agriculture and logistics are also closely interdependent vis-à-vis the brewing sector.


“Beer is a driver for the European economy and a major job creator that goes far beyond breweries. For every 1 job in a brewery, there is 1 in agriculture, 1 in packaging and logistics, 1 in marketing, 1 in retail and 11 in the hospitality sector,” said Demetrio Carceller, President of The Brewers of Europe.


Figures in the EY report also show that the brewing sector is adapting to current economic difficulties and demonstrating real potential to grow and generate jobs. After a period of decline, production and consumption volumes in the EU brewing sector are showing signs of recovery, with the production and sale of beer generating €53 billion in tax revenue for EU governments in 2012. The sector also saw a 4% growth in exports, contributing to a €3 billion trade surplus.


“Despite tough economic conditions, the number of breweries in Europe is growing. They range from global players to thousands of small and medium sized companies and microbreweries,” said Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association. “We all benefit from this huge diversity and choice.”


Along with signs of a healthy and growing sector, there were nevertheless 4% fewer jobs linked to brewing over the last two years. This loss of almost 84,000 jobs was driven by sharp increases in VAT (+9%) and excise duty (+9%) taxes levied across EU Member States, pushing an increasing proportion of the beer consumption away from the labour-intensive hospitality sector.

“Today, Europe should support economic sectors with the potential to grow and with the potential to create more jobs. And this is true for the EU brewing sector,” said Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, referring to the Committee’s October 2013 Opinion.


“The European Commission strives to promote competitiveness of the European Food & Drink Industry, which encompasses the beer sector. In particular, it promotes an holistic approach of EU policies through the High level Forum for a better functioning of the food supply chain and seeks new market access on the global scene,” said panellist Salvatore D’Acunto Head of Unit, Food and Healthcare Industries, Biotechnology, at the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry.


To spur employment, among other proposals, the European Commission is proposing more support for apprenticeships that lead to full employment. The Brewers of Europe support initiatives such as the European Alliance for Apprenticeships as they help build a flexible labour market, providing work for young and first-time labour market entrants.


“We recognise the importance of industry, including brewing, hospitality and related sectors in providing the opportunity for young people learning on the job through apprenticeships and later on making their transition to their first jobs,” said panellist Dana-Carmen Bachmann, head of the Vocational Training and Adult Education Unit at the European Commission. “We look forward to working more closely with these and other sectors to address the issue.”


The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy - EU Report is available here:


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 is the voice of the European brewing sector to the European institutions and international organisations. Current members are the national brewers’ associations from EU Member States, plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.


About Beer Serves Europe

BSE is an annual gala dinner with a panel discussion organised by The Brewers of Europe around a topical issue for the European brewing sector. This year’s event will take place on 4 December 2013 at the ‘Cercle de Lorraine’ in Brussels and focused on beer and jobs. Photos and event materials to be posted at