The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), reported Thursday that Germany's beer producing and storing establishments sold 9.83 billion litres of beer in 2010, including exports. This was 1.7 percent less than the 10 billion litres sold in 2009.
The drop was even sharper when it came to domestic sales, which fell 2.9 percent to 8.34 billion litres, or 101.7 litres per person.
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 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.
The 1.47 billion litres of German beer sold to other countries was a rise of 5.9 percent. Of this, 1.1 billion litres went to other European Union countries – a rise of 2.6 percent – and 370 million litres went outside the EU – a rise of 17.7 percent.
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. North-Rhine Westphalia's consumption gets a considerable boost each year from Karneval in the Rhineland city of Cologne, while Bavaria of course gets a kick out of Munich beer festival Oktoberfest.