In three more days I leave Germany. I have eaten and drunk a lot of interesting things during my stay here, but not beer. I don't like beer. In a way it seems ridiculous to come to Germany and not drink beer, but the Germans aren't drinking as much of it, either.
Last year beer consumption, averaged among the German adult population, was down 2.2 liters, or 2%, from the previous year, according to the Brewers' Association. Half of that decline was in the last quarter of 2008. The previous fall had been attributed to many things: an ageing population, different tastes in alcohol among the young, the ban on smoking in bars. But the abrupt decline in just the last three months is due to the world-wide economic downturn.
Consumption is expected to fall by 2% a year, causing trouble for German breweries. Now I feel guilty that I haven't been doing my part. Good thing this datum doesn't show up on my passport. I might never be allowed to return.