Bad news for our Garlic loving cousins across la Manche as the French president, François Hollande, has announced plans to increase the taxation on beer by a whopping 160%. Traditionally the French have enjoyed very low beer tax rates, even though this doesn’t always translate to the price punters pay at the bar. However, this measure is certain to put further pressure on an already strained market.
Jacqueline Lariven, spokeswoman for the French brewer's federation, Brasseurs de France, estimated that this would translate to an immediate 20% rise in beer prices in bars and supermarkets. The allure for the president is clear: a projected €480m to replenish the country's coffers. But set against a 6% fall in EU beer production and an 8% fall in beer consumption since 2008; no wonder the Brewers of Europe trade group describe it as a “kick in the teeth”.