France’s national brewers forced to discard of 10 million litres of beer as drinkers are stuck in Coronavirus lockdown.
FRENCH breweries are to discard 10 million litres of beer undrunk and due to expire as the nation’s drinkers remain under Coronavirus lockdown, the national brewers’ association said Wednesday. Most of the waste is expensive craft beer, which is often unpasteurised unlike traditional blonde lagers and spoils quicker.
“These are very hoppy beers, and if they are kept for too long, when they spend more than two to three months in storage, the olfactory and taste effects, the aroma, disappears,” said brewery association boss Maxime Costilhes.
With the country having closed cafes and restaurants, the tourism sector at a standstill and festivals cancelled it has left the brewers out of pocket as although the country is better known for its wine, it has seen beer sales soar due to an increase in craft brewing.
The number was compiled from the association’s 300-odd members, which represent 98 per cent of beer production in France. It represents but a drop of the estimated 22.5 million hectolitres of beer the country is set to produce in 2020, but nevertheless comes at a loss of millions of euros to producers.
“We are a very indebted sector since we invested €241 million in development in 2019, a significant figure for a turnover of just over €4 billion,” said Costilhes.
About 70 per cent of brewers have reported losing half their turnover or more since mid-March, said the association. However, a quarter of French brewers have benefited from a solidarity fund set up to help companies in the grips of the worst economic crisis in decades.