BERLIN (AP) — 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%.