German beer sales dropped dramatically in the third quarter, falling 7.2% compared to the summer of 2006.
Officials blamed poor weather and the fact sales were being compared to 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup.
Year-on-year, sales of beer are estimated to have been around 2.3% lower for the first nine months of 2007. German beer sales have been declining for nearly 20 years. Per capita beer consumption was in the 150-155 liter range in the mid 1980s, compared to 116 in 2006.
Poor weather, keeping drinkers out of beer gardens, has made this year particularly difficult.
“The god of weather is still one of the best beer salesmen,” said Peter Hahn, head of the Brewers’ Federation.