Germans brew more beer for first time since 2007

BERLIN Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:20pm EDT

People toast with beer mugs in Munich in this September 21, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

People toast with beer mugs in Munich in this September 21, 2010 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Michaela Rehle

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Warm weather and a strong export market in the first six months of the year have helped German brewers reverse a long decline in beer production.

The total volume of beer produced in Germany in the first half rose on an annual basis for the first time in four years, up 1.0 percent to 4.946 billion liters, government data showed Thursday.

"It's definitely down to the temperature," said Juergen Hammer, an official at the Federal Statistics Agency, pointing to an unusually warm April and May that had boosted demand.

The amount of beer produced for domestic consumption in the first six months rose from the first time since the hot summer when Germany hosted the soccer World Cup in 2006, edging up by 0.2 percent.

Although the average German of legal drinking age still puts away about 120 liters of beer a year -- roughly a glass a day -- consumption has fallen in recent years as Germans turn to wine and other beverages.

However, foreigners are developing an increasing taste for German beer -- the ingredients of which have been subject to strict government regulation since the 16th century.

The volume of beer produced for export, just over a tenth of national production, grew by an annual 5.3 percent in the first six months of 2011, with a marked 13.6 percent rise in beer destined for outside the European Union.

Most German brewers are relatively small, privately owned companies, although one of the best known international brands produced in Germany, Beck's, is owned by the world's largest brewer, Belgium's Anheuser-Busch InBev.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

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Comments (3)
Kozz wrote:
Surely a well-traveled beer drinker knows that the Germans can produce excellent beer. However, there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of microbreweries across the US — and I’m guessing very few of them subject themselves to the German purity standards. This gives us all wide latitude to enjoy beers of all kinds that would never be found in Germany.

Jul 28, 2011 2:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Pseudonymous wrote:
Of course, thanks to pasteurization, you still can’t get a good German beer in the US.

Jul 29, 2011 11:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
I make my own beer at home and it is superior to anything I’ve ever drank anywhere in the multitude of countries I’ve visited. I would recommend that any serious beer drinker get themselves a beer kit and get started. It will amaze you how easy it is to do and how wonderful the beer itself turns out. Go to YouTube and look up some homebrewing videos to see how easy it really is.

Aug 01, 2011 3:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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