The latest figures from the German Federal Statistics Office show that beer production in Germany declined by 2% last year to 96.5 million hectolitres, the lowest since 1990. Perhaps surprisingly, the largest amount of beer was produced not in Bavaria, but in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous part of the country.
Possibly the most gloomy part of it all is the rise of pre-mix beers drinks such as beer with cola, or fruit juice, which accounted for 4.5% of all beer sales. Readers of the Local put this down to increasing health conciousness and the rise and rise of wine. Though you might think the two are mutually exclusive, it appears the Germans do not. A few correspondents remarked that German beer has lagged behind the rest of the world in innovation. 16% of Germany's beer production was exported though. Sadly too for the Tysons of the German beer world, the previous habit of a beer with breakfast is dying out too as habits change.
A rather worrying aspect of all this is that the fall shows no sign of arresting and with few straws to clutch at, people are openly (but given that there are still over 1300 breweries, a tad prematurely) referring to "Brauereisterben,” a term meaning the death of German brewing.
There is a rather excellent summary of the ills visiting the German brewing industry here. The gratuitous photo of drinkers in dirndls is just that. Gratuitous.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer author, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
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