For more than six months, French bars and restaurants have been closed to limit the spread of Covid-19. Their reopening must be done gradually from May 19, as announced by Emmanuel Macron. Three weeks to replenish the draft beer stocks, is that enough or should we fear, as in the United Kingdom, a shortage?

In his progressive deconfinement plan, the President of the Republic announced the reopening of the terraces of bars and restaurants as of May 19. The total reopening of these establishments will then take place in three stages, spread out until June 30. An event eagerly awaited by the population and professionals in the sector. Bars and restaurants had to draw the curtain on October 29, 2020, to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. For almost seven months now, the French have been deprived of their binouze on the terrace after work.

We are not going to make the suspense last any longer, BE REASSURED, THERE WILL BE BEER FLOORING AT THE REOPENING OF THE BARS. Unlike the United Kingdom, which came out of its hard confinement on April 12, which already found itself dry of foam, after the total reopening of pubs, our French brewers are working hard to replenish stocks.

“As soon as the government announced it, our brewers went back to making beer on tap, in order to be able to apply pressure. It takes a minimum of three weeks to produce beer, it’s tense, we’re playing against the clock, but right now everyone is in the hold, producing. We’ll be ready on time! », Assures Maxime Costilhes, general delegate of Brasseurs de France, a union which represents 98% of French brewers.

Last year, Brasseurs de France had indicated that it had destroyed at least 10 million liters of beer, because it was not consumed because of the confinement. The discarded beer was mainly found in casks, as it has a very short shelf life, unlike bottled beer which has never stopped being produced.

On the Heineken side, the three French brasseries, located near Lille, Strasbourg and Marseille, are in full swing. “Our lines, dedicated to beer kegs, have been restarted for several weeks already to allow sufficient stock build-up, and our teams are working hard to ensure deliveries to our customers, distributors and wholesalers of drinks”, we were told. informed. In France, one in three beer is brewed by Heineken, making it the most consumed beer in the country.

“Even if the reopening conditions are not comparable (in France: gauges, sanitary protocol, curfew maintained initially), the example of our British neighbors confirmed our intention to revise our production forecasts upwards. for our three French brasseries, ”explains Heineken.

An essential element in the chain for the beers to reach the counter, the distributors. “For 3 weeks already, our technicians have been on the bridge to restart the pressure prints of our customers”, confirms France Boisson, a company for the distribution of drinks and services to Cafés-Hotels-Restaurants (CHR), a subsidiary of Heineken.

The conditions for the recovery will be unprecedented, since with a reception capacity subject to a strict sanitary protocol, but will also depend on another more unpredictable factor … the weather. Only the terraces will be open initially, which represents only a quarter of the bars and restaurants, according to Maxime Costilhes.

It is impossible a priori to find ourselves in the same situation as the United Kingdom, for which beer consumption has increased by 12% compared to the same period in 2019, and has taken the country’s brewers by surprise. “The difference with France is that in the UK people consume a lot more in bars. One in two beer is consumed in a pub, whereas here, we only sell 35% of our volumes in bars and festivals ”, explains the general delegate of Brasseurs de France.

It is a bet on the future that these brewers are making by relaunching their production, knowing that the festivals have still not resumed. “If the health situation did not finally allow the establishments to be reopened, it would be catastrophic, we sell 3/4 of our volumes in the summer. But one thing is certain, French beer is ready! », Rejoices Maxime Costilhes, impatient, like all the rest of the sector, to see the activity resume.

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Related title :
Should we fear a shortage of beer in France when bars reopen like in the United Kingdom?
Deconfinement: brewers expect a lot from the reopening of the terraces

Ref: https://www.neonmag.fr