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Germany's Favorite Beverage: Beer

September 24, 2002
Beer vats in the St. Pauli brewery in HamburgImage: AP

While it's clear that Germans still love their national drink, but beer has been going through a rough time in Germany.

While the country's some 1,200 breweries continue to produce roughly the same about of beer, more and more of it has been destined for foreign shores as Germans are drinking less of the suds themselves. Per person consumption has dropped from a high of 139 liters in 1994 to a mere 117.7 liters per person in 2003. That puts the Germans well behind the Czech Republic's 160 liters per person and just trailing Ireland by 0.3 liters per person.

Though it still only has four ingredients, the hops-barley-water-yeast blend is not as simple as first appears. The purity law explaining "How beer should be served and brewed in summer and winter in the principality," still applies to beer, but the market is growing to include cola-beer mixes and even beer cocktails.

The changing face of German beer may explain why students from around the world flock to a German brewing school and how the country is able to develop so many variations of the drink that the first Teutons used as a sacrifice to the gods.

Here a compilation of DW-WORLD's stories on how a nation of die-hard beer-worshippers to a country that is starting to experiment with its age-old traditions.

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