Germans thirsting for U.S. beer

American craft breweries, known for their variety and freewheelin' experimental ways are gaining market share in Germany.
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor

Germans are not imbibing nearly as much as they did several decades ago. And now, when they do drink, they're turning to the freewheelin' styles of American craft beer.

It's a trend that can't be sitting well with Germany's biggest brewers, companies that often boast of making the best beer in the world.

Beer consumption in Germany has fallen from 34.6 gallons per person in 1995 to 26.2 gallons in 2012, reported Michael Birnbaum of the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the amount of imported beer consumed as a percentage of the German market has increased from 2.9 percent to 8.1 percent over the same time frame.

For generations, the classic German Pilsner was the standard bearer of beer that major American companies tried to mirror.

However, a thriving craft beer culture in America has encouraged brewers to try bold experiments with ingredients like hops, citrus, vanilla, roasted chicory, Mexican coffee and licorice root, to name a few. And beer drinkers are liking what they taste.

Supermarkets in the U.S. have embraced the change and now offer a wide variety of beer from all over the world (including those German Pilsners). In 2012, craft beer surpassed six percent of the total U.S. beer market, with volume and dollar sales reaching record levels, according to The Brewers Association, a non-profit trade group that tabulates production statistics for the U.S. brewing industry.

Meanwhile, German supermarkets have stuck with the same beer makers and rarely add any foreign-made varieties, according to the Washington Post.

There are folks hoping to spark a beer revolution in Germany. Craft beer tasting sessions are being hosted in bars, a website rating different beers has been launched and small craft breweries that emulate American style are popping up.

Photo: Epic Beer


This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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