Quality over quantity: People in Switzerland are drinking less beer

Quality over quantity: People in Switzerland are drinking less beer

After hoisting quite a few post-pandemic, people in Switzerland decided to veer towards cold turkey in 2022 / 23 when it came to beer, the Swiss Brewery Association has confirmed in its latest report. Consumption of beer has fallen significantly over the last year, although the production of non-alcoholic varieties has continued to increase.

Cost of living and bad weather combine to hurt Swiss beer sales

According to the report, in the 2022 / 23 brewing year - from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023 - people in Switzerland drank 2,5 percent less beer compared to the year before. The Swiss Brewery Association explained that after a bumper year in 2021 / 22, caused by a return to in-person events and dining after the pandemic, the “positive dynamic could not be maintained.”

“Fears of inflation, rising health insurance premiums, high energy costs and the uncertain geopolitical situation are weighing on consumer sentiment,” association president Nicolò Paganini added. The strength of the Swiss franc, the subsequent rise in shopping tourism in Germany and the poor weather in the spring were also blamed. 

Interestingly, the association also recorded a change in attitude towards beer. “Meeting around a table with regulars is a tradition that is being lost,” they wrote, adding that more people are having beer singularly or as part of a meal, meaning the quality of the beverage - not quantity - is becoming increasingly important.

People in Switzerland drank 457 million litres of beer in 2022

In all, people in Switzerland consumed 457 million litres of beer in the 2022 / 23 season - enough to fill 122 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Swiss beer made up the majority of consumption, with local brewers producing 3.595.719 hectolitres between October 2022 and September 2023.

The amount of beer imported from overseas has continued its steady decline, falling by 7 percent compared to the last brewing year to 975.746 hectolitres. Imported varieties now account for 21,3 percent of all beer drunk in Switzerland  - in 2013, it made up 26,1 percent of all beers served.

Finally, the association noted that the production of non-alcoholic beers rose by 5,3 percent in the last brewing year to 279.233 hectolitres. Non-alcoholic beer now makes up 6,1 percent of all cold ones sold in Switzerland.

Thumb image credit: Kathy images /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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