However as no such tax increase has been proposed for French wines – and since beer represents only 16 per cent of the French alcohol consumption market – the proposal has been attacked as being discriminatory to beer producers.
The development was not welcomed by Brewers of Europe General Secretary Olivier Bergeron who pointed out that, “Beer has been singled out amongst the other alcoholic beverages – despite beer only representing 16 per cent of the French drink market and per capita beer consumption in France already being the second lowest in the EU”.
The move will also hit imported beers such as those from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and the UK which comprise around 30 per cent of French beer consumption.
“Simply put, this tax increase destroys the business model of many of these brewers and may indeed lead to a number of brewery closures,” warned Olivier Bergeron.
Citing the potential discrimination of beer compared to wine and cider, France’s opposition party has said it will refer the case to the French Constitutional Court, according to Brewers of Europe.