German beer prices to rise in 2020 as consumption sinks

Beer drinkers in Germany can expect higher prices for tap and in some cases retail beer this year.

German beer prices to rise in 2020 as consumption sinks
The prise rise is especially expected to hit the catering industry. Photo: DPA

In many cases, draught beer is slated to become more expensive for the catering trade –  a change expected to trickle down to customers.

The leading German beer producer, the Radeberger Group, is raising the price of draught beer for most of its products at the beginning of March, a spokeswoman for the Radeberger Group told DPA on Wednesday.

The price increase has not yet been announced.

The Group owns more than 40 beer brands in Germany, and is also raising retail prices for a smaller portion of its bottled beers, including Schöfferhofer Weizen, Berliner Pilsner and Ur-Krostitzer.

READ ALSO: From beer to babies: The 15 stats you need to understand Germans

Low price by international standards

The private brewery Krombacher is also raising its draught beer prices in the new year, according to a company spokesperson. Krombacher is the beer brand that's most consumed in Germany, according to a ranking by the industry magazine “Inside”.

Initially, the increases are only higher sales prices of the breweries to beverage wholesalers, gastronomy or retail.

But “Inside” publisher Niklas Other expects higher prices for beer drinkers in pubs and restaurants.

“But the beer price in Germany is very low by international standards,” he explained. Despite declining sales, beer remains one of the most important sources of revenue for restaurateurs.

READ ALSO: Germany: Land of cheap beer and drunkards?

Falling sales of beer

Last year, sales of alcoholic beer fell by 2.5 percent to 8.52 billion litres by the end of November, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office.

Brewers see the main reason for this as being that, as in all of Europe, older and more elderly people drink less beer than younger people.

According to industry estimates, the price gap between draught beer and bottled beer will continue to widen in the new year. 

READ ALSO: Why beer means so much to the Germans

The fact that draught beer is usually significantly more expensive than bottled beer is not necessarily helpful for the catering trade, said Other. He assumes that more brewers will increase the draught beer price.

Can beer, at least for the time being, is largely exempt from the price spike: Krombacher, the largest brand of canned beer, decided against an announced price increase for canned beer, the company spokesman confirmed. 

The bulk buyer of canned beer in Germany is the discounter Aldi.

Rising costs for restauranters

“How the restaurateur deals with rising costs is solely in his hands,” the German Hotel and Restaurant Association stated.

“The fact is that draught beer is very popular in many of our establishments. The guests appreciate a freshly tapped beer.”

Excluded from the Radeberger higher prices are, above all, the group's Kölsch draught beer and draught beer of the Stuttgarter Hofbräu brand, the spokeswoman said. 

The Frankfurt-based company has not yet issued a statement, however, of how much they plan to raise prices for the gastronomy industry. 

The Radeberger Gruppe justified the price hike by pointing to steady cost increases that could no longer be compensated for internally.

Among other things, it cited higher logistics, energy and packaging costs, investments in the reusable system and tariff increases. 

The Radeberger Gruppe, which belongs to the Oetker Group, last raised prices for bottled beer around two years ago.


Beer fresh from the tap – (das) frisch gezapftes Bier

Price rise – (die) Preiserhebung

International comparison – (der) internationale Vergleich

Canned beer brand – (die) Dosenbiermarke

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Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

The German word 'Wanderlust' means "the desire to travel" and is used even in other languages. Here are some of the other words commonly used in Germany to describe the nation's love affair with travelling.

Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

Germans are very connected to nature and a lot of the activities they routinely do, even in winter, involve staying outdoors. So it’s no wonder the language also reflects that passion for walking, travelling, and spending time in nature.

Some of the German words that are most famous to speakers of other languages reference this passion. Perhaps most notably, the term “Wanderlust” which has made its way to other dictionaries, including Merriam-Webster, with the definition “a strong longing for or impulse toward wandering”.

The word is composed of “wandern“, which means to hike or roam about and “lust“, meaning “pleasure or delight”.

READ ALSO: Holiday like a local: Five of the best camping regions in Germany

This is not the only unique expression the German language has related to travelling. Another of the hard to translate ones is “Fernweh“. It comes from “fern“, meaning “far”, and “Weh“, meaning “pain”. It is used to describe the longing for far-off places – in contrast to “Heimweh”, a feeling many immigrants might be very attuned to and could be translated to homesickness.

The German language also has several interesting and even funny expressions for walkers and travellers alike. The Local talked with German teacher and travel enthusiast Lutz Michaelis to collect a few of the best expressions.

“So weit dich deine/mich meine Füße tragen”

It literally means “as far as my feet will take me” (or alternatively, “as far as your feet will take you”). It is often said as an answer to the question, “where are you going?”.

READ ALSO: Waldeinsamkeit: Five of the best forest walks around Berlin

“Die Sieben-Meilen-Stiefel anhaben”

“To wear the seven-league boots”. This means being able to walk long distances fast. Lutz explains that it was actually based on a trope in French mythology, in which magical boots could help the wearer cover long distances in a short amount of time. Having been used in The Little Thumb by Charles Perrault, the term was brought into the German language by writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

“Wer rastet, der rostet”

The translation would be “he who rests, rusts”. It is used in the German language to say that being in motion is a good thing, not only with travelling but also to incentivise people to keep learning new things.

“Das Reisen kost’t Geld, Doch sieht man die Welt.”

It’s a very common rhyme used to show the downsides and benefits of travelling: “travelling costs money, but one sees the world”.

“Reisende soll man nicht aufhalten.”

It literally means that “travellers shouldn’t be stopped”. However, Lutz explains that the expression is not only used to refer to travellers but also to anyone that might be going through a transitional situation – such as someone wanting to change their jobs, for example.

Rhododendren park Bremen

Rhododendrons bloom in the Rhododendron Park in Bremen. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt

“der Weg ist das Ziel.”

One of the most beautiful ones, and many languages have their own version of it. It translates to “the road is the destination”.

Of course, coming back home, especially for those suffering from Heimweh, can also be something beautiful. One common saying is “Wiedersehen macht Freude“, which means that to meet again brings happiness, used among those looking forward to seeing someone again after a long trip.

READ ALSO: How to explore Germany by train with the €9 ticket

And one more…

In Germany, there is a common joke about finding German people abroad. The rhyme goes “Hüte dich vor Sturm und Wind, und Deutschen, die im Ausland sind“, which could be translated as “Be on your guard for storm and wind, and Germans in a foreign land”.

“It refers both to the bad behaviour of Germans on holidays or travels and a dark joke and a funny nod to the fact that German troops have invaded other countries”, Lutz, who is a German himself, explains.