Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



This paper explores the political response of one sector of the economy – European beer brewing – to these new challenges. Beer brewing is an important industry in Europe. Europe is home to five of the six largest global beer producers. European beer brewers account for 60% of the world’s beer exports and 30% of global beer production. The European brewers are represented in Brussels by the Brewers of Europe (BoE), which is a confederation of 21 national associations and represents approximately 90% of beer producers in the EU-25. During the past few years, the brewers have restructured their trade association in Brussels and engaged in more aggressive lobbying in order to influence the EU’s policy-making process. In this paper, I seek to explain these changes by examining the increased concentration of the sector and the increased attention to public health by non-producer groups such as Eurocare 7 , the World Health Organization (WHO), some national governments, and the European Commission. I then analyze the extent to which the political activities of the brewers have shaped the debate over alcohol control in the EU.