France celebrates International Beer Day17-08-2018
Friday 3rd August is International Beer Day, and to mark the occasion, franceagroalimentaire.com shines a spotlight on the French beer sector.
Introducing the beer sector
A major agri-food segment given its share of the overall agricultural sector and sheer volume of distribution outlets, it is also of vital economic significance within French agriculture as a whole. As a sector it provides almost 64,000 jobs and a turnover of 12 billion euros.
France, leading the world in malt exports and Europe’s 8th largest producer
France is Europe’s leading producer of malting barley, the world’s leading exporter of malt and a major beer exporter. France has the ideal weather conditions for cultivating high quality malting barley, and for the last 25 years is also the world’s leading exporter of malt. In total, 12% of the world’s beer production is brewed using French malting barley and malt.
France is the 8th largest beer producer in Europe, of which 28% of production is exported, largely to Europe (Source: Association des Brasseurs de France).
Micro-breweries boost the beer scene
While annual production capacity may rarely top a few thousand hectolitres, micro-breweries are flourishing the length and breadth of France. With 1200 brasseries across the country, including 100 new additions in 2017 alone, France ranks 3rd in Europe in terms of the number of production sites. The number of breweries has doubled in the last five years, resulting in more than 4,000 beer brands and a domestic consumption of 21.6 million hectolitres.
French craft brew is champion of the world
Craft beer Mont-Blanc recently won a gold medal at the highly acclaimed World Beer Awards for its white beer. This commercial success in international markets tempts others to follow in its wake and helps drive awareness for a new quality French beer, worthy of its place alongside wine.
A quality label for French beer
The French Brewers Syndicate (Syndicat professionnel des brasseurs francais) has launched a national label to boost its beer production. The label aims to serve as a guarantee of quality and promote the high quality of the French beer offer. Ultimately it will help consumers navigate the increasingly vast array of French beers (4000!). To obtain the “Profession brasseur” logo, producers must be able to prove that the beer has been produced – brewed and conditioned – in a French brasserie. Brewers must also comply with various health and safety and traceability guidelines, and monitor the raw ingredients and product at different stages of the production process. In total, the quality framework, which is overseen by independent organism Certipaq, contains a staggering 420 evaluation criteria.