A few German stats for you to start the week off. I know it is lazy blogging, but I couldn't be bothered tarting this up too much. My interest in Germany is already declared on the left, hence this piece.
Beer sales continued their slow decline in Germany last year, dropping another 1.7 percent with the average person drinking just over 100 litres the Federal Statistical Office reported last week. (That's around a hefty 10 litres per head less in the last the last three years.) Unlike the UK, the drop was even sharper when it came to domestic sales, which fell 2.9 percent. Beer sales within Germany have fallen every year since 2000 with the notable exception of 2006, when Germany co-hosted the World Cup.
Premixed beer drinks such as Radler (shandy) are becoming more popular. Beer mixed with lemonade, cola, fruit juice and other non-alcoholic drinks made up about 4 percent of the total beer consumption. That was a significant increase on the 2.7 percent these drinks accounted for in 2009. Exports however continued to boom, with a rise of 5.9 percent, with bigger increases to countries outside the EU. Another 20 million litres went home with lucky brewery workers as a free perk of the job.
The biggest-consuming states last year, as with the years before, were the populous North Rhine-Westphalia, which accounted for 24.7 percent of domestic sales, and Bavaria, which accounted for 21.9 percent.
What is noteworthy in a British context is the viciousness of price wars in the off-premise sector. Market observers believe that 60 percent of all beer was sold “on promotion”. That has delivered a big hit to brewers’ bottom lines. Declining volumes and shrinking margins hit Radeburger Group, Germany’s major brewing group, particularly badly, with reported volume declines of 2.5 percent. News is even worse for AB-InBev with Beck’s volume sales dropping a reported 9.4 percent. AB-InBev’s other major brand, Hasseröder, lost even more: -10.7 percent.
Interestingly, the meteoric rise of Germany’s cheap beer producer Oettingerappears to have been stemmed: Oettinger’s volumes fell 3.8 percent to an estimated 6.3 million hl beer.
While this may seem rather miserable from a German point of view, I reckon British brewers would give their eye teeth to be doing this well.
This article was cobbled together from Brauwelt and The Local. My thanks to them.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, 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 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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