The German beer market is widely recognised as one of the greatest beer centres and its beer is among of the best the world has to offer. Beer is engrained both into Germany's history and culture, with the country having over 1,300 breweries.
However, German brewing has dropped to less than 100 million hectoliters of production for the first time since reunification in 1990. (That's less than half of the United States' annual output). Furthermore, consumption dropped almost 3% last year alone, to 101.8 litres per person per year, and that it's down about one-third overall snce the previous generation.
The number of breweries in the country has also dropped, by approximately half over the last few decades. Berlin, which sustained some 700 breweries in the early 19th century, now counts only about a dozen firms.
Domestic players continued to lead the beer market in Germany during 2011. On a company level, Radeberger Gruppe maintained its market share of 12%, followed by Anheuser-Busch InBev Germany Holding GmbH and Oettinger Brauerei GmbH. Radeberger Gruppe and Anheuser-Busch InBev both have a large number of brands of different beer types in their portfolios on which they have built their success.
The German beer market is the biggest, but also the most fragmented market in Europe. The three biggest brewery groups only have 30% of the market share, while in other European countries, the top two/three together have a market share of 70-99%.
Due to the decline in the overall population and changes in lifestyles, consumption within the German beer market is predicted to decrease further through to 2016, by around 1% annually, to 8.1 billion litres in 2016. High demands on employees, an increase in mobility and health and wellness concerns are among the critical factors that will hamper positive development.
For more information on the German beer market, see the latest research: German Beer Market
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