The sun is out and the nights in longer which mean Germany’s Biergarten season is getting underway. But customers will have to prepare for a difference this year – the price of beer is likely to rise significantly.
Germany’s brewers’ associations expect price hikes of up to 30 percent, according to a report by daily newspaper Bild.
It comes as Covid restrictions have been eased across the country, meaning people are socialising much more again. Big festivals, including Oktoberfest, are also back this year. In 2019, guests guzzled 7.3 million beers during the rowdy festival.
But with inflation rising to record levels – it climbed to 7.4 percent in April – it’s perhaps no surprise that breweries are also dealing with price hikes, which are set to be passed onto customers.
“The cost increases are beyond all dimensions,” Holger Eichele, General Manager of the German Brewers’ Association, told Bild. “Whether it’s pallets, brewing malt, beer mats or crown corks – the prices are going through the roof. We haven’t experienced anything like this yet.”
Stefan Fritsche, vice-chairman of the Berlin Brandenburg Brewery Association, another industry expert, told the newspaper that beer prices could rise to unprecedented heights. He expects beer prices to rise by up to 30 percent by the end of the year.
The reasons for the high beer prices are the rising costs the companies are facing.
Prices for gas have risen by 430 percent compared to the previous year, and prices for electricity by 250 percent. Even prices for pallets have risen by 150 percent. “It’s clear that such drastic cost increases have to be passed on to the price”, Eichele said.
Food is one of the drivers of current inflation. In March 2022, for example, food prices rose by 6.2 percent compared to the same month last year. One reason contributing to this development is Russia’s war against Ukraine. Ukraine is considered the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ and has been the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil. Prices for this product and similar oils rose by a huge 30 percent in March. Fresh vegetables also increased significantly by 14.8 percent.
Social and consumer associations have called for Germany to get rid of VAT on certain foodstuffs in the face of significant food price increases.
Cost increase – (die) Kostensteigerungen
Brewers/beer brewers – (die) Bierbrauer
Malt – (das) Malz
Beer mats – (die) Bierdeckel (singular: der)