Emerging Trends in the European Beer Industry
In recent years the global beer industry, through the process of mergers and acquisitions, has become increasingly concentrated. In 2013 three breweries (AB InBev, SAB Miller, and Heineken) accounted for 39.5% of the global market share for beer. In 2003 the top three breweries (AB, SAB Miller, and Interbrew) had accounted for only 22.1% of the global beer market. This trend of consolidation has impacted the industry everywhere, including in Europe. This consolidation has occurred in a market that is mature. Europeans are drinking 8.5% less beer than they did before the most recent recession and production has dropped 6% since 2008. Despite this drop in consumption and production the number of breweries in Europe has increased by 73% during the past 5 years and now exceeds 5,500 in number. These new breweries are almost exclusively small-scale craft breweries that have opened-up in response to growing consumer demand for greater variety in terms of styles, flavors, and strength of beer. In this presentation we examine the growth of the craft beer movement in Europe. In doing so we explore two theories that have been used to explain the growth of the craft beer movement in the United States – resource partitioning and neo-localism – and assess to what extent these might be contributing to the increasing popularity of craft beer in Europe.