French beer industry

Beer
& Cider

The European Union leader in terms of the number of production sites, France has over 2,000 breweries, large and small, established in both rural and urban areas.

The number of brewing
companies has quintupled
in just 10 years.“​

In France, this renewal of craft beer, inspired by a trend that originated in North America, has gone hand in hand with an authentic attachment to sourcing their products locally to help build the sector’s circular economy and preserve natural resources. That means ingredients grown in France, locally made packaging that is more and more likely to be recycled or reused, waste reduction – most notably through the transformation of spent yeast and grain, CO2-emission management, cleaner transportation methods, and preserving water resources.

Reducing the carbon footprint implies implementing innovative solutions: heat recuperation, biogas power plants, renewable energy, and shipping by train are all among the solutions used by French brewers. Heirs to a long tradition of savoir-faire and quality, French breweries are producing specialty beers whose renown is growing around the world, building a strong new image for French beer-making.  

Innovation at the intersection of organic and gluten-free

Traditionally the French think of hard cider as something to drink with crêpes. In fact, hard cider, an alcoholic drink that can be fresh, tart and full-bodied, or sweet and fruity, goes beautifully with sushi, oysters and curried dishes, too! Young entrepreneurs are modernizing their offer, focusing on restaurants, liquor stores, and purveyors of fine food. The upshot: after a decade of decline, sales are heading back up.

Businesses in the sector are mostly looking beyond France’s borders, from Mexico to Japan.

They’re expecting to boost export sales by 50% over the coming years.

And they have several great arguments in their favor! Cider has less alcohol and is more ecological than wine. Made from apples, it is also gluten-free. In the USA, cnsumption has increased fivefold in the past 10 years. 

Long seen as a bargain drink, cider has been moving upmarket, with bottles to savor. Brands are now following the conventions of sparkling wines, like using blends of different kinds of apples that give the cider a mineral aspect.

Finally, the ecosystem is committed to improving its environmental impact. France’s cider sector aims to be at least 30% organic by 2025.