Austria: Beer Sales Drop by 3% in 2023

Beer sales in Austria declined by 3% last year. While the total output in 2022 (including beer, non-alcoholic beer, and exports) increased by 4% compared to the previous year to 10.29 million hectoliters, it decreased to 9.98 million hectoliters in 2023.

"Bierland Austria," the communication platform of the Association of Austrian Breweries, attempted to put a positive spin on the poor results today by referring to "output at a very high pre-pandemic level." Karl Schwarz, the new chairman of the Association of Breweries, was a bit more explicit during this year's balance press conference. "2023 was a challenging year, marked by historically high inflation and changes in sales markets, as well as consumer restraint. Taking these aspects into account, we can be satisfied with the results," he emphasized.

The domestic beer sales (including non-alcoholic beer) amounted to 8.55 million hectoliters (-2.6%), while exports totaled 1.43 million hectoliters (-5.9%).

Throughout the year, there were fluctuations in sales, with a noticeable decline in the spring due to inflation. However, the summer season saw some recovery, particularly in tourism-related sectors. Nevertheless, there was a slight decrease in sales in the fourth quarter.

One significant challenge faced by the industry was the closure of many traditional beer venues, such as taverns, due to rising costs and changing consumer preferences. This structural shift in the gastronomy sector raised concerns among brewers.

On a positive note, upscale gastronomy and hotel businesses showed resilience, with new restaurants opening frequently. Efforts to promote beer expertise and education, including training programs for beer sommeliers, aimed to further enhance the industry's presence in high-end establishments.

A notable trend in the industry is the increasing popularity of non-alcoholic beers, driven by changing consumer preferences and technological advancements. Non-alcoholic beer has evolved to offer flavors and depth comparable to alcoholic varieties, presenting significant growth opportunities.

Furthermore, efforts towards sustainability and environmental responsibility were evident in initiatives such as the introduction of reusable 0.33-liter beer bottles, aimed at reducing environmental impact and promoting circular economy principles.

Share this article: