The German Brewers Association has released figures indicating that consumption of beer in the country is at an all-time low.
In 2008 per capita consumption sank to 109.5 liters, off 2.2 liters from the previous year. The drop is being blamed on the recession, the elimination of smoking in bars and changes in consumption patterns among younger drinkers. Brewers indicated that market conditions were increasingly difficult during the last quarter of the year.
The drop in consumption will put pressure on Germany's 1,300 breweries and likely result in consolidations and some closures.