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Germany

No Beer Please, We Are Germans

Germany it seems is getting over its love affair with beer, as for the fourth straight year beer sales showed a decline. New government deposits on cans and the aging population are being blamed for the sales erosion at the 1,280 German breweries. “Even the hottest summer in a century could not even out the slump in sales caused by political decisions,” said Erich Dederichs, a spokesman for the German Brewers’ Association, according to Reuters. The Federal Statistics Office said beer production fell 2.1 percent in 2003 to 105.5 million hectolitersm. A hectoliter is 100 liters. Last year’s sales were enough to fill 10,560 Olympic-sized swimming pools. A new 25-cent deposit levied on cans has virtually eliminated canned beer from the German market, with 80 percent of Germany’s 5,000 brands been now sold in reusable containers.