Content of the study:
The craft beer market - France

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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

There are three basic concepts that define a craft beer: the brewer, the brewery and of course the beer. The brewer is distinguished by his know-how and his traditional production process as opposed to an industrial process. The brewery is defined by factors of volume produced and of independence:

  • Legal and financial independence from any other brewery;
  • Possession and use of own equipment;
  • An annual production of less than 200,000 hectolitres or 170,000 barrels;

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

The craft beer market in France includes hop producers, malt houses, hop importers, craft breweries, traders, distribution networks, supermarkets, restaurants, specialised websites, etc.

In France, the market is experiencing solid growth, following the footsteps of the American market. More and more breweries are opening everywhere in the country, and France ranks second in Europe for the number of micro-breweries and first for the number of craft breweries. Craft beer sales have grown by 20% between 2018 and 2020 and consumers are becoming increasingly fond of these new beers that are appearing on the market.

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

The trends in the sector are towards organic farming, in a concern for "sustainable" consumption, but also to the diversification of a premium offer which is now aimed at a growing audience of young enthusiasts

1.2 Craft beers in the world

Developments in the world market for craft beer

The data in this section was compiled before the international health crisis - The website grandviewresearch conducted a study in **** on the market for craft beers in the world. This concept, present in the United States, is the equivalent of craft beers in ...

1.3 Craft breweries in France are growing strongly

The craft beer market

In ****, the craft beer market was estimated to be worth €*** million, according to a study conducted by the Auvergne Rhône Alpes Network of Chambers of Trade and Crafts. The forecast growth was **% to reach *** million euros in ****. Moreover, it is estimated that craft beers represent nearly ...

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 the French customs, under the following product codes:

******** Non-alcoholic beers, alc. <= *,* % vol [***] ******** Beer made from malt, ...

1.5 Impact of Covid-19 on beer manufacturing and drinking operations

Covid-** and manufacturing activities in France

Beer manufacturing activities are recorded in the NAF nomenclature of INSEE under code **.**Z: Manufacture of beer. Insee reports the evolution of the turnover index (***) of these activities during the health crisis and the lockdown in France.

Evolution of the turnover index of beer manufacturing ...


2.1 Beer consumption in France

In ****, beer consumption in France was **.* 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 is still much less of a beer lover than its European neighbours, and is in ...

2.2 Young people boost beer consumption

The Kantar World Panel press release identifies the typical consumers who influence beer demand. Thus, in ****, it is the ** - ** year old segment that is driving the beer market upwards.

Evolution of beer consumption among **-** year olds France, ****-****, in % Source: ****

This demand has the particularity of being in line ...

2.3 Consumer willingness to pay

Craft beers are generally more expensive than industrial beers. A national survey conducted by happybeertime and focused on the question "What do you think is a fair price for the following beers IN YOUR CITY (***)? " brought out the following result:

The willingness of French consumers to pay for a half of ...


3.1 Craft breweries in the value chain

Craft breweries are part of a crucial segment of the value chain. In France, beer production was for a long time the monopoly of a few industrial brands with huge production capacities, with the aim of efficiency to supply the stocks of the catering industry and mass distribution. Today, new and ...

3.2 French raw materials

The malt industry in France

Malt (***) is the basic ingredient of beer. In France, the SNBI reports ***,*** farms growing barley. In June ****, the sector counted ** malting plants, including * artisanal ones, which participate in the production of the *.* million tons annually. France is the leading exporter in this sector, and nearly **% of ...

3.3 Craft breweries in the territory

Number of independent breweries and jobs in the industry

The figures from the National Union of Independent Brewers, provide an approach to all craft brewers. The infographic titled, The Independent Brewery Market in June ****, moreover reveals that **% of independent brewers are craft. The infographic reports that France has the largest number ...

3.4 Access to distribution channels

The traditional distribution channels (***) are largely closed off by the traditional industrial brewers. For example, the latter impose brewing contracts on the owners of public houses. Faced with this lock-in, microbreweries and craft breweries must innovate in their distribution channels.

Distribution channels of independent breweries France, ****, in % Source: ****

First, there are ...

3.5 Interview with Marc Charpentier, co-founder of La Brasserie Fondamentale


Hello and welcome to Vue d' Ensemble, the podcast that offers you a **-minute look at the challenges of a market. My name is Cantiane and I am an analyst at Businesscoot, a start-up specialising in market research.  Today, we're going to talk about the craft beer market and for ...


4.1 Categories of craft beers

The interest of craft beers compared to other more classic, traditional beers, is to offer bold and sought-after tastes that allow them to be distinguished more easily. These beers seek differentiation in a return to the culture of beer as a quality drink. The sector is encouraged by consumers and this ...

4.2 Price ranges

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

Source: ****

4.3 Trend of the offer: Organic, cans, and originality

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

The rise of organic

The demand for organic is real in France, and this at all levels of the agricultural sector. The market is exploding and beers are not deprived of it. The surface area cultivated organically is increasing ...


5.1 Labelling

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

5.2 Criteria for using the terminology "craft beer

In order to use the term "craft beer" or to choose "craft brewery" as a company name, for example, it is necessary to meet the following criteria:

Be registered with the Répertoire des métiers The brewer's activity falls under the craft sector. This activity therefore requires that the companies ...

5.3 Administrative procedures and taxes

Like any alcoholic product, beer is subject to numerous regulations. In the context of the creation of a microbrewery, here are the main mandatory steps:

Customs: It is necessary to file a file to become an approved warehouse keeper: it is compulsory to produce and store alcohol above a certain quantity ...


6.1 Segmentation of craft breweries

The following list is by no means exhaustive; it presents a close-up of ** craft and microbreweries selected by the availability of their data and their geographical distribution.

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Reviews (1)

The craft beer market - France

Publicado en 12/02/2021 by Laurent Grimal - UHA - Faculté Marketing et Agrosciences

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Laurent, Thank you for your note.