Austrian brewers employ nearly 4,000

Almost 4,000 people work for Austrian breweries, new figures show.A study published by magazine News reveals the country’s 69 brewing companies have around 3,900 employees. Only Germany’s 1,319 breweries (29,604) and the 124 Belgian beer firms (5,190) have more staff in the European Union (EU). There are significantly more breweries in Denmark (120) than in Austria but they only employ 3,880 workers.Another survey shows that Austria charges the highest taxes on beer in the EU with 24 Euros per hectolitre, followed by Slovakia (19.80 Euros) and the Czech Republic (11.70 Euros).Austrians come second behind Czechs (154 litres) when it comes to annual beer consumption with an average 110 litres ahead of Germany (107), Ireland (99) and Poland (93). A majority of 63.5 per cent of Austrian beer drinkers named Märzen lager as their favourite brew.Brewers had bad news for Austria’s beer lovers last September when they warned customers must brace themselves for a five per cent price hike in the first quarter of 2011.Markus Hämmerle of Dornbirn’s Mohrenbräu claimed an increase in prices was “unavoidable”, while Luis Weidinger of the Privatbrauerei Egger brewery said: “Higher labour costs, increased prices for energy and natural resources and a disappointing barley harvest make higher prices a very likely development.”