Content of the study:
The craft beer market - Italy

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1.1 Definition and presentation

Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. There are three main concepts that define a craft beer: the artisan, the brewery, and, of course, the beer. The artisan is distinguished by its know-how and traditional production process as opposed to the industrial one. The brewery is defined by factors of volume produced and independence:

  • Legal and financial independence from any other brewery;
  • Ownership and use of its own equipment;
  • An annual production of less than 200,000 hectoliters i.e., more than 170,000 barrels;

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

The global beer market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The growing consumer preference for craft beer is expected to push this segment to grow faster than the market average, with a compound annual growth rate of 2.3 percent from 2017 to 2025.

In Italy, both beer consumption and production are steadily increasing. Europe's tenth largest producer and fourth largest in terms of breweries, this performance is due to three main factors:

  • The gradual increase of beer culture in Italy
  • The seasonal adjustment of consumption
  • The reduction of excise taxes, i.e., taxes that indirectly affect certain products

The Covid 19 pandemic has also had an impact on the Italian beer sector. The approximately 800 active breweries reported the loss of nearly 90 percent of their revenue in 2019. The closure of restaurants and bars, but also the disruption of festivals and other outdoor events where beer is the main accompaniment, were the main factors in the drop in revenue for the craft beer sector. However, this was an exceptional event, and optimistic forecasts for 2021 indicate a resumption of growth equal to that of 2019, a record year for this market.

1.2 The Global Market

The value of the global craft beer market has been estimated at USD ***.* billion in ****. Strong growth of the world market is expected, and it is projected to reach a value of ***.** billion USD by **** growing at a CAGR of **.**% between **** and ****. [***]

This growth will be driven by the development of ...

1.3 The Italian market

In Italy, the beer industry has a turnover of *.* billion euros a year, ** percent in production and ** percent in the sales and consumption distribution channel alone. The distribution chain has about *,*** enterprises generating employment for ***,*** people. Small businesses, which have enlivened the sector with craft beers, drive growth in recent years. ...

1.4 Exports and Imports

There is no specific list for craft beers as far as international trade is concerned, however, it is interesting to note how beers are referenced by the Italian system: [***]

ANALcoholic BEER: *% to *% PLATO GRADE - up to *.*% vol. ALCOHOLIC GRADE LIGHT BEER (***): from *% to **.*% PLATO GRADE - from *.*% to *.*% ALCOHOLIC GRADE BEER: ...

1.5 Covid effect

The craft beer segment has been severely impacted by the closures imposed by the Italian government to curb the spread of Covid-**. It is estimated that there was a ** percent drop in turnover in **** and the sector only recently returned to **** levels of profitability. (***) In addition, unlike other industries, they have ...


2.1 Beer consumption of Italians

Beer in Italy has always enjoyed a privileged position in Italians' preferences, second only to wine. (***)Its consumption has also been driven in recent years by the increase in per capita alcohol consumption, as the graph below shows. Within * years the latter has in fact increased from **.* liters in **** to **.* liters ...

2.2 The Profile of Craft Beer Consumers

Craft beer has now become part of Italians' consumption habits. As we can see from a study conducted by Unionbirrai on a sample of *,*** consumers, about half have been consuming craft beer for more than * years and ** percent for * to * years.

Years of craft beer consumption Italy, ****, percent Source: ****

Several motivations ...

2.3 New demand trends

Several trends are likely to drive demand in the coming years, among them are:

Sour Beers or Sour Beers

In recent years, Sour Beers have established themselves as a niche product not appreciated by everyone. Recently, however, sales of these sour and strongly fruity beers have exploded in the mainstream ...


3.1 The production process

There are some slight differences in the production process of craft beer that make the sensory performance of a craft beer completely different from an industrial beer. The raw materials used are the same: water, barley malt, hops, and yeast. The process already begins with the germination of the barley malt, ...

3.2 The raw materials used

The hop industry in Italy

The number of hectares under hops cultivation in Italy in **** was estimated at **, mainly concentrated in the North Central regions, and the average area of farms interested in hops is *,*** square meters.There are *** companies reported to Agea, with a prevalence in the North Central, particularly ...

3.3 The geographical distribution

The number of microbreweries, as already analyzed, has steadily increased in recent years. Regarding the geographic distribution, we can see that most regions have a relatively high number of microbreweries when compared with the number of total population. The regions with the highest number are in the North, Lombardy (***), while Brew ...


4.1 Craft beer categories

Different categories of craft beers can be distinguished according to the type of fermentation used to produce the type of beer and the strain of yeast or bacteria responsible for it.

Low-fermentation beers:it is named Lager and the ermentation is conducted at low temperatures (***), this yeast is very clean and ...

4.2 Prices

The table below provides an overview of the prices of different categories of craft beer, the reference period is April ****.

Source: ****


5.1 Regulation

To be defined as such, craft beer must have certain characteristics by law. According to Law *** of **** Chapter V Art. **:

"Craft beer is defined as beer produced by small independent breweries and not subjected to pasteurization and microfiltration processes during the production phase. For the purposes of this subsection, an ...


6.1 Segmentation

  • Birrone SRL
  • Birra Peroni
  • Birra Castello
  • Birra Morena

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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.

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