Monday, 2 February 2015

German beer off sales by type 2009 – 2010

I’m feeling rushed so little more than a table this time. Which reminds me – I still owe you that table of hop varieties.

The first thing that’s obvious is how fragmented the market is in terms of style. There are a large number of styles with very small sales. Ten have less than a 2% share and only four more than 5%.

The top three are pretty predictable: Pils, Export and Weizen. Though I’m not sure how they differentiate between Helles and Export. Weizen has grown as it’s spread North away from its southern homeland. At the expense of what? Pils, but probably also regional styles like Kölsch and Alt.

Number four and six on the list are pretty depressing: Biermix and alcohol free. The former are those abominations of beer mixed with other crap. It’s sad to see how popular they are in Germany. Though, hang on a minute, why are they being included here at all? Because under the German law they can’t be sold as beer as they don’t adhere to the Reinheitsgebot.

Kölsch and Alt continue to lose market share, though the loss for the latter is much greater, 3.9% as opposed to 0.3%. Why is that? Are people in Cologne more attached to their local beer than those in Düsseldorf? The identity of Alt isn’t quite so closely entwined with one city as in the case of Kölsch.

It’s indicative of the fall in sales of beer in general that only two types saw absolute growth in terms of volume: Alcohol free and Berliner Weisse. The last one surprised me. Though, as you can see, the quantities involved are tiny. But maybe it’s a sign of the beginning of a revival of the style.

Here’s the table. See what you make of it:

German off sales by beer type 2009 - 2010
Market share Quantity in hl
2009 2010 change in % 2009 2010 change in %
Pils 55.2 55.1 -0.2 30,566,810 29,860,950 -2.3
Export 10.1 9.8 -3.3 5,586,580 5,288,690 -5.3
Weizen 7.9 7.9 0.5 4,371,480 4,300,890 -1.6
Biermix 6.5 6.5 0.7 3,589,820 3,538,490 -1.4
Hell 4.5 4.5 0.2 2,507,100 2,459,470 -1.9
Alcohol free 3.3 3.7 12.9 1,814,090 2,005,330 10.5
Kölsch 1.7 1.7 0.3 929,040 912,740 -1.8
Schwarz/Dunkel 1.6 1.6 -2.3 905,230 865,730 -4.4
Malz 1.2 1.2 1.7 671,010 668,170 -0.4
Alt 1.3 1.2 -3.9 696,750 655,680 -5.9
Lager 0.9 1 1.2 522,480 517,950 -0.9
Light 0.6 0.6 -0.7 356,380 346,500 -2.8
Bock 0.5 0.5 -0.7 286,580 278,550 -2.8
Märzen 0.5 0.5 -1.4 280,790 271,050 -3.5
Diät 0.3 0.3 -7.2 157,310 142,900 -9.2
Berliner Weisse 0 0 14.8 9,060 10,180 12.4
All others 3.7 3.8 1.5 2,054,760 2,042,280 -0.6
total 55,307,279 54,167,560 -0.02
Deutsche Brauer Bund

I’ve also got the numbers broken down by state. I may show you those, too. If I can be arsed.


Gary Gillman said...

Ron, what is "lager" in your view, is it imported brands such as Heineken?


Sturisoma said...

Any indication on which kind of Alt has mostly been affected? If it is the ilks of Diebels and co. then I am relieved. I just want the more traditional breweries safe.

Ron Pattinson said...


Lagerbier to me is a bottom-fermenting beer of 10º to 12º Plato. Not sure how they differentiate between that and Helles.

Ron Pattinson said...


pretty sure it's brewers like Diebels rather than Uerige or Schumacher who've taken the hit.

Elektrolurch said...

Ready mixed Bier with non alcoholic beverages sold in Bottles is legal since 1993, they changed the Biersteuergesetz accordingly. Thats why they are included, because in according the tax law, they are beer.
I personally don't think they are all evil, esp when made by yourself-proper tart lemonade, mixed with pale wheat beer or helles, can be refreshing as hell on a hot summer day.

Gary Gillman said...

A tart lemonade mix is something I can abide since that is shandy, well-known and appreciated by some in the English tradition. For beer mixed with Coke or a similar drink (and I've tried my own), I don't really get the taste, but it's a question of individual preference. Ron was expressing his own.

I've always wondered if the cola and beer thing is really throwback to when dunkel was more commonly available. These tastes have a way of persisting unconsciously sometimes, and for similar reasons, I always felt lager-and-lime was a way to recover the estery taste of ale. Also, there has been discussion here of the low attenuation rate of some German lager in the later 1800's, and of certain malz or sweet styles formerly more popular than today. I think it is possible again these mixes bring back that taste for some or if not as such, they offer an alternative to a part of the market which formerly would have drunk sweet or malty beer.