Germans may be famous around the world for their beer, but they drank less of the amber nectar in than at any time in the past 20 years, according to official statistics published on Thursday.
Sales of German beer, which includes the likes of , Warsteiner, and countless other brands, dropped to just under 100 hectolitres (2.2 billion gallons) in 2009, a fall of 2.8 percent on the previous year.
There has been a steady downward trend in beer sales in Germany, with a small blip in 2006, when the football , hosted by Germany, boosted consumption.
Peter , from the , said he hoped the World Cup in this year, would once again spur Germans to enjoy a few cold ones.
"We hope that the weather this year will again play ball, that Germany does well at the World Cup and that plenty of people go to the pub or beer garden to watch the matches with a good beer," Hahn said.
The federation blamed the desperate economic situation in Germany last year for the decline. Germany, Europe's top economy, suffered a five percent contraction in 2009, the worst slump since .
A longer-term trend towards less manual work and more office-based employment had also reduced Germans' after-hours thirst, the federation said.
The Local | Germany