Beer Taxes in Europe

July 26, 2022

’Tis the season to crack open a cold one. Ahead of International Beer Day on August 5th, let’s take a minute to discover how much of your cash is actually going toward the cost of a brew with this week’s tax map, which explores excise duties on beer.

EU law requires every EU country to levy an excise duty on beer of at least €1.87 per 100 liters (26.4 gal) and degree of alcohol content. That amounts to a minimum tax of €0.03 (US $0.04) for a 330ml (11.2 oz) beer bottle with 5% alcohol content. As this map illustrates, only a few EU countries stick close to the minimum rate; most levy on much higher excise duties.

Highest beer taxes in Europe on International Beer Day 2022 tax on beer in Ireland and tax on beer in germany. Compare lowest and highest beer tax in Europe

Finland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom levy the highest excise duties on beer. Finland levies a tax of €0.63 ($0.74) per 330ml beer bottle. Ireland and the United Kingdom both levy rates of €0.37 ($0.44) per beer.

Bulgaria, Germany, Luxembourg, Romania, and Spain each levy approximately the EU’s minimum rate of €0.03 ($0.04) per beer bottle.

All European countries covered also levy a value-added tax (VAT) on beer, which is charged on the sales value of a beer bottle. The excise amounts shown in the map relate only to excise taxes and do not include the VAT.

Excise Duties on Beer in European Union (EU) Member States and the United Kingdom, as of July 2022
Country Excise Duty per 330ml (11.2oz) Beer Bottle at 5% abv
  Euros US Dollars
Austria (AT) € 0.08 $0.10
Belgium (BE) € 0.08 $0.10
Bulgaria (BG) € 0.03 $0.04
Croatia (HR) € 0.09 $0.10
Cyprus (CY) € 0.10 $0.12
Czech Republic (CZ) € 0.05 $0.06
Denmark (DK) € 0.11 $0.13
Estonia (EE) € 0.21 $0.25
Finland (FI) € 0.63 $0.74
France (FR) € 0.13 $0.15
Germany (DE) € 0.03 $0.04
Greece (GR) € 0.21 $0.24
Hungary (HU) € 0.08 $0.10
Ireland (IE) € 0.37 $0.44
Italy (IT) € 0.12 $0.14
Latvia (LV) € 0.14 $0.16
Lithuania (LT) € 0.13 $0.15
Luxembourg (LU) € 0.03 $0.04
Malta (MT) € 0.08 $0.09
Netherlands (NL) € 0.13 $0.15
Poland (PL) € 0.08 $0.10
Portugal (PT) € 0.07 $0.08
Romania (RO) € 0.03 $0.04
Slovakia (SK) € 0.06 $0.07
Slovenia (SI) € 0.20 $0.24
Spain (ES) € 0.03 $0.04
Sweden (SE) € 0.33 $0.39
United Kingdom (GB) € 0.37 $0.44

Notes: Some countries levy reduced excise duties for independent small breweries. The excise duties were converted into USD using the average 2021 USD-EUR exchange rate (0.846), see IRS, “Yearly Average Currency Exchange Rates,” https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/yearly-average-currency-exchange-rates.

Source: European Commission, “Taxes in Europe Database,” accessed July 5, 2022, https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/tedb/splSearchForm.html; and Gov.uk, “Tax on shopping and services: Alcohol and tobacco duties,” https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/alcohol-tobacco.


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A Value-Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax assessed on the value added in each production stage of a good or service. Every business along the value chain receives a tax credit for the VAT already paid. The end consumer does not, making it a tax on final consumption.

An excise tax is a tax imposed on a specific good or activity. Excise taxes are commonly levied on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, soda, gasoline, insurance premiums, amusement activities, and betting, and typically make up a relatively small and volatile portion of state and local and, to a lesser extent, federal tax collections.