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Beer sales fizzle to lowest level on record

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Beer sales fizzle to lowest level on record
Drowning in the sorrow of a rainy summer. Booooooooo. Photo: DPA
11:25 CEST+02:00
Beer sales for the first six months of 2009 have dropped to their lowest level since the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) started keeping track of the sales in 1991, the Wiesbaden office reported Thursday.

Breweries and distributors have sold 4.93 billion litres of beer in the first half of this year. Compared to the same time period last year, sales have dropped by 230 million litres, or 4.5 percent.

Destatis cited poor summer weather, an increase in beer prices and the much-debated smoking ban in restaurants.

Sales of mixed-beer beverages fell even further. Those who enjoy their beer with colas, fruit juices, lemon-lime soda or other non-alcoholic mixes drank 7.4 percent less than in the same period last year.

Most of the beer (85.5 percent) sold was consumed within Germany. Destatis also reported that duty paid on beer exports dropped by 4.1 percent.

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