The global craft beer market experienced robust growth, projected to reach a value of $103.2 billion by 2022 and expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.6% from 2023 to 2032. In France, the craft beer sector, despite facing a sharp downturn with estimated 40% sales loss in 2020 due to the pandemic's impact on bars and restaurants, continues to show strong signs of vitality. The market in France is characterized by an impressive increase in the number of craft and microbreweries, with France ranking first in Europe for the number of craft breweries and second for the number of microbreweries.

In 2020, craft beers accounted for 7 to 8% of France's total beer market, estimated at €4.1 billion. Consumption trends in France have also been positive, with the French beer consumption standing at 33 million hectolitres in 2021, placing the nation fifth in Europe in terms of volume. The craft beer market in France is driven by a rising demand for beers with more pronounced bitterness, sustainable consumption practices, and an increase in the popularity of low and non-alcoholic beverages, particularly among young consumers who are key influencers in this market segment.

Growing Fondness for Craft Beer in France: A Shift to Authenticity and Local Flavors

In recent years, France has been experiencing a significant transformation in its beer consumption habits. There has been a notable shift towards craft beers, which are gaining popularity across the country. Craft beer, distinguished by its artisanal brewing techniques, traditional recipes, local production, and adherence to craftsmanship, is defining a new niche in the French beverage market. Craft beers, often described as being produced in volumes of less than 200,000 hectolitres annually by independent breweries, have struck a chord with consumers who show a growing preference for authenticity and local flavors.

The craft beer market in France has been on a robust growth trajectory, mirroring the trends observed in the American market. With an expansion from a handful of breweries to a market now boasting four times as many breweries as five years ago, France proudly ranks second in Europe in terms of the number of microbreweries and first for craft breweries. Between the years 2018 and 2020, sales of craft beers incremented by about 20%, indicating a solid consumer base that is enthusiastic about the diversity of new beers entering the market. This flourishing sector has resulted in a competitive landscape where craft breweries are positioning themselves to carve out a unique space in the market.

Despite the competition, the deep local roots of these breweries have allowed them to cater to a demand for locally-produced, authentic goods. It is notable that a vast majority—over 90%—of independent brewers offer brewery tours and tastings, which adds to the authentic experience consumers are seeking. The craft beer segment has not just seen growth in numbers, but also in the variety of flavors and types of beer being produced. There is a noticeable trend towards beers with a bitter taste profile, with a special nod to the rise in popularity of India Pale Ales (IPAs).

There is also a burgeoning market for "sustainable" consumption, with an increase in the production and demand for low and non-alcoholic beverages, particularly among younger consumers. In terms of sales, craft beers account for between 7% and 8% of the French beer market, translating to revenues of around 300 million euros, a noteworthy figure for a market that was almost non-existent over a decade ago.

While the global craft beer market is expected to continue growing at a considerable rate, Europe also maintains a sizeable production of over 34 billion liters of beer in 2021, with a noticeable proliferation of microbreweries contributing significantly to this volume.

Key Players Shaping the Craft Beer Landscape in France

The French craft beer market is characterized by a rich tapestry of breweries, each contributing its unique flavors and entrepreneurial spirit to the burgeoning sector. Without delving into financial specifics, let's explore the prominent companies that are central to this vibrant industry.

  • Soufflet Malterie Part of the Soufflet Group, Soufflet Malterie is a giant among malt producers. With numerous malting plants across the globe, including notable presence in France, they are a crucial supplier to many breweries. Their expertise in crafting high-quality malt places them at the heart of the beer production cycle, supporting the creation of a diverse range of beers from classic lagers to intricate craft varieties.
  • Malteurop As another dominant force in the malt industry, Malteurop, under the Vivescia cooperative group, operates several sites within France. This company plays a pivotal role in both the domestic and international beer markets by offering malts that enhance the brewing process and satisfy the ever-evolving palette of consumers seeking new beer experiences.
  • Boortmalt After acquiring Cargill's malt activities, Boortmalt, which operates under the Axéréal cooperative group, has bolstered its position as a key player in the industry. By providing essential malt supplies to various breweries, they have enabled the craft beer movement to flourish, offering a foundation for creativity and flavor innovation.
  • Brasserie de Vézelay, AR-Men and Dremmwel These brands, united under the Fabulous French Brasseurs umbrella, make a significant splash with their move into the alcohol-free beer market. With the growing demand for lower-alcohol and non-alcoholic beer options, their venture represents a shift towards healthier and more inclusive beer offerings, catering to a broader audience.
  • Gallia Brewery With the introduction of their working beer, Gallia Brewery has tapped into the zeitgeist of modern beer consumption, where the demand for wellness-aligned products is steadily rising. Their offerings add to the diversity of choices available to those who enjoy the culture of beer without necessarily seeking its alcoholic content.
  • France Boisson and Distriboissons These companies specialize in the distribution of beverages, including beer, to the foodservice sector. Their reach and logistical capabilities ensure that craft beers find their way to restaurants, events, and other venues, contributing significantly to the visibility and availability of craft brews.
  • Online Retailers: Une Petite Mousse, Saveur-biè are also growing fast.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Three key concepts define a craft beer: the craftsman, the brewery and, of course, the beer. The craftsman is distinguished by his know-how and his traditional production process, as opposed to an industrial one. The brewery is defined by factors of production volume and independence:

  • Legal and financial independence from all other breweries;
  • Ownership and use of its own equipment;
  • Annual production of less than 200,000 hectolitres, or more than 170,000 barrels;

Finally, the product is characterized by a simple, traditional recipe and no filtration or pasteurization.

The craft beer market in France includes hop growers, malting plants, hop importers, craft breweries, wholesalers, distribution networks, supermarkets, restaurateurs, specialist websites, etc.

In France, the market is enjoying solid growth, following in the footsteps of the American market. More and more breweries are opening across the country, with four times as many in 2021 as five years ago. France ranks second in Europe for the number of microbreweries, and first for the number of craft breweries. Sales of craft beers grew by 20% between 2018 and 2020, and consumers are becoming increasingly fond of the new beers coming onto the market.

The sector is becoming more structured, and competition is increasing between craft breweries. Nevertheless, the strong local roots of these breweries ensure outlets linked to a demand for authenticity and local products. Over 90% of independent brewers offer tours and tastings at their breweries.

Trends in the sector include a taste for bitterness, a concern for "sustainable" consumption, as well as low and non-alcoholic beverages, which are on the rise among young consumers.

1.2 Craft beers around the world

The global craft beer market

A study by Globe Newswire estimates that the craft beer market will be worth ***.* billion by ****. This concept, present in the United States, is the equivalent of craft beers in the scope of our study. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of **.*% over ...

1.3 France's fast-growing craft breweries

The craft beer market

In ****, the beer market is estimated at *.* billion euros. Craft beers will account for * to *% of the total market in the same year, bringing sales to around *** million euros (***). This is a recent market, virtually non-existent in France ten years ago, which was booming with solid growth ...

1.4 Foreign trade in beer

There is no specific customs code for craft beers in the international trade nomenclatures. Nevertheless, it is interesting to observe the dynamics of beers as a whole. We use here the data published by French customs, under the following product codes:

******** Non-alcoholic beers, alc. <= *.*% vol[***] ******** Malt beers, in bottles <= ** l[***] ******** ...

1.5 Covid-19's impact on beer production and the on-trade

Covid-** and manufacturing activities in France

Beer manufacturing activities are recorded in Insee's NAF nomenclature under code **.**Z: Beer manufacturing. Insee reports on changes in the sales index (***) for these activities during the health crisis and containment in France.

evolution of the sales index for beer manufacturing activities France, August **** - ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 French beer consumption

Consumption trends in France

In ****, beer consumption in France stood at ** million hectolitres. [***]. This puts France in *th place among European countries with the highest annual beer consumption (***). Moreover, consumption continues to grow, as shown in the graph below. Nevertheless, France remains far less of a beer lover than its European ...

2.2 Beer consumer profile

Gender breakdown of beer drinkers

Men are more interested in beer than women, with men ** points more interested.

Proportion of French people who drink beer, by gender France, ****, in Source: ****

Age distribution of beer consumers

Demand for beer is driven by young people, with no less than **% of **-** year-olds ...

2.3 French preferences: made in France and blondes

In Sowine and Dynata's **** study, beer tops the list of France's favorite alcoholic beverages for the first time since ****, capturing the interest of **% of French consumers. That's **% more than in ****.

**% say they drink craft beers, and **% local beers "made in France".

Beers consumed by the French, by type of production France, ...

2.4 Consumer willingness to pay

Craft beers are generally more expensive than industrial beers. A national survey conducted by happybeertime in **** looked at the question "How much do you estimate the fair price for the following beers in your town (***)?" and highlighted the following result:

French consumers' willingness to pay for a half of industrial beer ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Craft breweries in the value chain

Craft breweries are part of a crucial segment of the value chain. In France, beer production has long been the monopoly of a handful of industrial brands with huge production capacities, with the aim of efficiently supplying out-of-home catering and supermarket stocks. Today, new, more confidential players are diversifying the offer ...

3.2 French raw materials

The malt industry in France

Malt (***) is the basic ingredient of beer. According to **** statistics from the French Ministry of Agriculture , France is Europe's leading producer of barley, ahead of Germany, Spain and Denmark. It devotes *.** million hectares to the crop, **,*** hectares more than in ****, for a production of *.** million tonnes ...

3.3 Craft breweries in the region

Number of independent breweries and jobs in the sector

The figures provided by the national union of independent brewers give an idea of the total number of craft brewers. The infographic entitled, Le Marché des Brasseries Indépendantes en septembre ****, reveals that **% of independent brewers are artisans. The infographic reports that ...

3.4 Access to distribution channels

In the national beer market, the main distribution channels are food: supermarkets, hard discounters and retailers will account for **% of beer distribution in ****.

Breakdown of beer distribution by type of channel France, ****, in Source: ****

However, traditional distribution channels (***) are largely closed off by traditional industrial brewers. For example, they impose brewing ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Craft beer categories

The advantage of craft beers over more classic, traditional beers is that they offer bold, sophisticated tastes that make them more distinctive. These beers seek differentiation in a return to the culture of beer as a quality beverage. The sector is encouraged by consumers, and this diversification of the current offer ...

4.2 Price ranges and trends

The table below shows a non-exhaustive list of products and their prices as of November ****.

Source: ****

4.3 Supply trends: bitterness, low alcohol, eco-design and quality

The website has listed the beer trends for ****.


Trends in the beer sector are in line with those in the rest of the alcoholic beverage sector, with the return of the bitterness of vermouth, coffee or tonic. In the beer market, the rise of craft beer has brought ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Labeling

The DGCCRF (***) can control many aspects of food labelling. Beers are no exception. In the event of non-compliance with regulations, the DGCCRF's inspection services can order the professional to make changes to his or her labeling or production premises, for example. They may also report the infringement to the Public ...

5.2 Criteria for using the terminology "craft beers

To use the expression "bière artisanale" or to choose "brasserie artisanale" as a company name, for example, you need to meet the following criteria:

be registered with the Répertoire des métiers: the brewing business falls within the craft sector. Companies operating in this sector must register with the ...

5.3 Administrative procedures and taxes

Like all alcoholic products, beer is subject to numerous regulations. When setting up a microbrewery, here are the main steps you need to take:

Customs: you need to apply to become an "entrepositaire agréé" (***). A plan of your brewery is required, as are the quantities of beer produced and the capacity ...

List of charts

  • Number of breweries by country in Europe
  • Trends in the size of the craft beer market
  • European craft beer market: number of macro breweries
  • European craft beer market: number of microbreweries in Germany
  • Craft beer market trends (2018 estimates)
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Latest news

Brewer Ninkasi shifts its business model - 28/03/2024
  • Investment in the new Tarare plant: 32 million euros.
  • Current number of Ninkasi employees: 300.
  • Current Ninkasi sales: 26 million euros.
  • Beer production capacity before expansion: 40,000 hectolitres. Beer production capacity after expansion: 120,000 hectolitres.
  • Current number of Ninkasi outlets: 26, including 22 in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
  • Forthcoming franchise openings planned in Montpellier, Lille, Metz and Besançon, Rennes and Grenoble.
Mélusine brewery dethrones Heineken at Puy du Fou - 13/11/2023
  • The Mélusine brewery in Vendée has just signed one of the biggest contracts in its history, becoming the exclusive beer supplier for the Puy du Fou.
  • Mélusine, a producer of craft beers from the Pays de la Loire region, has dethroned Heineken.
  • This contract represents 2,500 hectolitres a year in kegs for the brewery, which will supply the 26 catering outlets of the Vendée park and its 2.5 million visitors.
  • Belongs to the Newbeers group (46 employees) formed in 2020.
  • Mélusine capacity reaches 60,000 hectolitres per year
  • Strong growth over the past two years: sales have jumped by 50% in 2022 and 10% in 2023 (financial year ending in September). The Chambretaud brewery has set itself the target of 7.5 million in 2023, compared with 3.6 million in 2019 before the health crisis.
  • The group, made up of two other breweries - Page 24 in the Nord region and Parisis in the Paris area - reached 11.8 million euros.
BrewDog, the punk beer that's shaking up the European market - 15/10/2023
  • In the space of fifteen years, the Scottish company has become Europe's largest craft brewery.
  • Its beers range from IPAs (Indian Pale Ale) to stouts, sours, ambers and blondes, and are sold in 65 countries.
  • BrewDog produces 1 million hectolitres a year,
  • Sales have risen from £3.4 million in 2009 to £286 million in 2021.
  • The company now has 4 breweries: in Ellon, north of Aberdeen in Ohio, in Germany and in Australia.
  • 65% of its beers are sold in supermarkets
  • BrewDog has its own chain of bars.
  • BrewDog opened its first establishment in Aberdeen in 2009. The group now has 125 (Shanghai, Oslo, Sydney, Madrid, Paris, Nice ....
  • Since 2018, BrewDog has also operated hotels (four in Ohio, Edinburgh, Manchester and Aberdeen,
  • the brand employs 3,000 people, and generates 40% of its sales outside the UK, including 15% in the USA.
  • In Europe, France is its biggest market, ahead of Germany.
  • punk IPA accounts for around 60% of sales, with the group's other brands accounting for 40%.)
  • Sale of 22% of BrewDog to venture capital group TSG Consumer Partners in 2017
  • Ambitions: triple sales in the United States
  • Between 2002 and 2019, the proportion of Britons aged 16 to 24 who drink at least once a month fell from 67% to 41%, and 23% are total abstainers
In Combs-la-Ville, the Parisis brasserie thinks bigger - 08/10/2023
  • Number of employees: 9
  • Relocation to Combs-la-Ville (Seine-et-Marne), September 2022
  • Production capacity: up to 30,000 hl/year
  • Joining the Newbeers group: July 2020
  • Beers for supermarkets available at factory prices in the bar-boutique
  • Beer market trends in value and volume in 2022: + 0.9% and - 2% respectively (according to Circana).
Duvel Moortgat acquires Montblanc. - 08/10/2023
  • The Duvel Moortgat group comprises 12 independent breweries.
  • The Duvel Moortgat Group owns several beer brands, including Duvel, Chouffe, Maredsous, Vedett and Liefmans.
  • The Montblanc brewery employs 60 people and produced 110,000 hectoliters of beer in 2022.
  • Sales for the Montblanc brewery in 2022 were 30 million euros.
  • 40% of Montblanc's beers are sold in kegs to bars and restaurants in the Rhône-Alpes region, and 60% are sold in bottles throughout France.
  • The distribution subsidiary of the Duvel Moortgat group in France employs 80 people.
  • The founding shareholders of Brasserie Montblanc, Société Dolin and Sylvain Chiron, retain a significant stake in the company after the acquisition.
Ninkasi takes delivery of its new industrial brewery - 25/09/2023
  • Investment in new Tarare plant: 30 million euros
  • Tripling of beer and whisky production
  • Ninkasi sales in 2022: 26.2 million euros
  • Ninkasi has a network of 25 sales outlets, 9 of which are directly operated and the rest franchised

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Brasserie Castelain
Ninkasi Brasserie
Brasserie du Mont Blanc
Brasserie Cap d’Ona
Brasserie Thiriez
Brasserie la Parisienne
La Brasserie Fondamentale
Brasserie La Débauche
La Brasserie du Grand Paris
Brasserie Parisis (Newbeers group)
Gallia Braserie (Heineken Groupe)

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