German Beer Sales Fell Another 2.2% in 2021

Steep drops in January and February last year weighed down full-year sales, and pandemic restrictions still remain.

People toast with their beer mugs at the 'Taxisgarten' beer garden in Munich, Germany on May 15, 2021.
People toast with their beer mugs at the 'Taxisgarten' beer garden in Munich, Germany on May 15, 2021.
AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

BERLIN (AP) β€” German beer sales dropped another 2.2% last year, with the coronavirus pandemic again weighing on brewers after sales tumbled 5.5% in 2020, official figures showed Tuesday.

Lockdowns that shut restaurants and bars for parts of the past two years have added to a long-term downward trend fueled by health concerns and other factors.

The Federal Statistical Office said that German-based breweries and distributors sold about 8.5 billion liters (2.2 billion gallons) of beer in 2021.

There were particularly steep year-on-year drops of 27% and 19.1% respectively in January and February, when full lockdown measures were in place across the country. Authorities started relaxing restrictions in the spring; blanket nationwide lockdowns haven't been reimposed, although restrictions remain.

The statistics office said that beer sales inside Germany, which accounted for more than four-fifths of the total, were 3.4% lower than in 2020 and 8.6% lower than in 2019.

Beer exports to other countries in the European Union dropped 4%, while exports to countries outside the bloc were up 12.7%.

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