The Estonian beer market was stable already before the economic downturn in 2008, but only thanks to beer-friendly tourists.
According to the data provided by the Estonian Breweries Association, local consumption (including tourists) has been a level 100 million liters a year since 2005. Sales, on the other hand, have increased to 134 million liters, writes Postimees.
Last year sales in harbors and stores located on ships increased 17 percent. Tourist bought around 29.9 million liters of beer to bring back with them. The local consumption of tourists on site grew slightly as well, which means that the total beer bought and consumed by tourists makes up about a quarter of all domestic beer sales.
Beer and other beverages, which A.Le. Coq as well as Saku Brewery produce, depend on the weather, which this year has not been favorable for consumption.
Beer sales can also be influenced by an excise tax, which in Estonia raised nearly 5 percent from 2013 (Estonia charges 6.28 euros of excise tax for each percentage of ethanol by volume per hectoliter starting on January 1, up from 6.00 euros).
However, Latvian and Lithuanian excise duty on beer is lower than in Estonia, creating conditions on the Estonian-Latvian border similar to what has occurred with Finnish alcohol tourists in Estonia, which has benefited local sellers.