Sales of Germany’s iconic beverage take backseat amid Covid pandemic

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Germany’s Federal Statistical Office, Destatis, reported on Tuesday that beer sales across the country continued to decline in 2021, falling 2.2% year-on-year due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Statistics showed that sales had already been down 5.5% in 2020 from the previous year.

According to Destatis, German-based breweries and distributors sold about 8.5 billion liters (2.2 billion gallons) of beer in 2021.

Beer sales have been declining in the country for years as a result of health concerns and other factors, but lockdowns have added to a downward trend. Сlosed restaurants and canceled major events and festivals where large amounts of beer are usually consumed impacted sales, the agency said. 

There were particularly steep year-on-year drops of 27% and 19.1% respectively in January and February, when full lockdown measures were in place across the country. 

Domestic sales are most important for Germany’s breweries, as they make up around 83% of the total. The statistics office said that beer sales inside the country were 3.4% lower than in 2020 and 8.6% lower than in 2019.

Beer exports to other countries in the European Union plunged 4%, while exports to countries outside the trade bloc were up 12.7%.

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