Beer sales in 1st half of 2021 2.7% lower than in previous year

Corona crisis particularly noticeable in beer sales in January and February

Beer sales in 1st half of 2021 2.7% lower than in previous year
© Statistisches Bundesamt
Source:  Company news

Beer sales fell by 2.7% or 113.4 million liters in the 1st half of 2021 compared to the same period last year. As the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) further reports, breweries and beer warehouses based in Germany sold around 4.2 billion liters of beer in H1 2021. The figures do not include non-alcoholic beers and malt beverages or beer imported from countries outside the European Union (EU).

80.4% of total beer sales were for domestic consumption and taxed. Domestic sales decreased by 4.9% to 3.3 billion liters compared to H1 2020. The remaining 19.6%, or 816.6 million liters, were sold tax-free (as exports and as so-called domestic beverages). This was 7.7% more than in the previous year. Of this, 379.7 million liters (+3.5%) went to EU countries, 431.5 million liters (+11.9%) to non-EU countries and 5.5 million liters (-5.2%) were sold free of charge as home brew to brewery employees.

In contrast, there was an increase in beer mixes - beer mixed with lemonade, cola, fruit juices and other non-alcoholic additives - in the 1st half. Compared to the 1st half of 2020, 8.4% more beer mixes were sold. However, at 238.9 million liters, they accounted for only 5.7% of total beer sales.

Beer sales down sharply amid Corona crisis
The renewed closure of restaurants, bars and hotels since the second lockdown at the beginning of November last year caused a sharp year-on-year decline in beer sales, particularly in January (-27.0%) and February (-19.1%). After the Corona restrictions were relaxed again in spring 2021, depending on the regional incidence value, also for restaurants, beer sales also recovered. Beer sales were up 12.4% year-on-year in March and 11.2% in June. Viewed over the long term, beer sales in Germany have been falling steadily for years.

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