At a time when France is worried about losing its bistros, Germany may have something to worry about, too. How long can we count on Oktoberfest scenes like the one above, when German drinkers are drinking less?
Since 1991, the first year data was recorded (can you believe that?) the domestic consumption of beer has dropped from over 2.9 billion gallons to about 2.1 billion. To put that in human terms, the average German is now drinking just over 100 litres a year, compared to 150 litres in the 1970s.
But don't cry in your beer yet for German brewers; they're doing quite nicely due to rising demand for German beer in other countries; Germany now exports more beer than it drinks.
History note: This year marks the 500th anniversary of the first German "beer purity" law, perhaps the world's oldest food safety law, limiting the ingredients to just water, barley, hops and yeast. For more on that, click HERE