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German beer drinking hits 25-year low

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German beer drinking hits 25-year low
A stein of beer waiting to be drunk next to the Andechs monastery east of the Ammersee. Photo: Peter Kneffel/DPA
08:39 CET+01:00
Germany's famous beer purity law may celebrate its 500th birthday soon, but domestic demand for the country's amber brews has been as flat as a stale ale.
Germans' consumption of the nation's beer fell to 79.5 million hectolitres (2.1 billion gallons) in 2015, the lowest in a quarter century, the national statistics office said on Friday.
 
Since 1991, when data was first recorded and national consumption was 110.5 million hectolitres, the figure has been steadily plummeting. Per capita consumption has fallen from around 150 litres in the 1970s to 107 litres now.
   
Overall, German brewers did well last year thanks to exports, which rose to 95.7 million hectolitres from 95.6 million hectolitres a year in 2014.
   
The statistics office has no data on imported beers, which accounted for about eight percent of the market in recent years.
   
German brewers will be clinking glasses this year to mark 500 years of their beer "purity law", one of the world's oldest food safety laws that limits ingredients to just water, barley and hops, although yeast was later added to the approved list.
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