It seems that Germans are sticking to some secret New Year's resolution to drink less beer -- for the second year in a row. And their good example has rubbed off on their neighbors.
Germans are world-renowned for their love of beer
What would Germany be without beer and bratwurst? Well, if the rate of beer consumption continues on its current trajectory, we may just find out.
Beer consumption in Germany, which once prided itself as a world champion of beer culture, has declined for yet another year as Germans reach for a glass of fizzy water instead, national statistics issued Thursday show.
Domestic sales by the German breweries fell 0.9 percent last year to 8.7 billion liters, and exports were down even more sharply, the Federal Statistics Office said.
EU nations took 1.1 billion liters, down 1.2 percent and non-EU nations 0.3 billion, down 4.1 percent.
The data released in Wiesbaden did not cover soft drinks and mineral waters, but previous figures have shown sales of those beverages steadily rising while beer consumption falls back year by year.
If a new study comes out reporting that bratwurst consumption is also on the decline, Germany might have to change its name to France and Oktoberfest will have to be held in Belgium.