German beer sales hit 25-year low
31st January, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Sales of beer in Germany dropped for a seventh year in 2013 – their lowest since 1989.
On Thursday, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), reported that 94.6 million hectolitres of beer was sold by German breweries in 2013 – a decrease of 1.9 million hectolitres.
Of that 79.7 million hectolitres, 84 percent, were sold on the domestic market – down by 2%.
Other Europeans also drank less German beer with EU sales down 8.6% while overall, German beer exports fell by 3.8%.
The drop was blamed on changing tastes and an increasing preference for mixed drinks and non-alcholic beers, while The German Brewers’ Federation blamed a long winter and rainy summer for keeping people from drinking outside in parks and beer gardens.
In a statement, the federation said foreign beer lovers placed a premium on “the unique taste and absolute clarity and purity of beers brewed according to the German purity law”.
Germany’s 500-year-old beer purity law states that the national beverage can be made from only four ingredients – water, hops, malt and yeast.
Germany is Europe’s biggest beer producer and has 1,300 breweries that now make about 5,000 different beers.
Last year German brewers applied to have the country’s beer making tradition placed on the UNESCO list of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”.
In contrast the UK saw beer sales rise for two consecutive quarters in 2013 for the first time in 10 years.