German beers sales up, but for how long?

German beer consumption was up in 2006, but brewers aren’t optimistic about the future.

Sales have been declining since 1995, and the increase – from 115 liters per resident in 2005 to 116 in 2006 – has been credited to the World Beer Cup (which won’t be around this year, next, etc.) Per capita beer consumption was in the 150-155 liter range in the mid 1980s.

“Ninety percent assume that in the coming five years they will decline or remain stagnant,” the accounting firm KPMG reported in a press release announcing the results of its survey.

The survey found that mixed-beer drinks and specialty beverages were growing in popularity, with breweries estimating that sales of drinks mixed with beer will increase by 6% in the next five years. Wheat beer and alcohol-free beer sales are also expected to rise.