I love Germany. I have since I first started to learn their language. Germany is a prosperous and culturally rich land. They are known for many high quality products, probably most famous is there beer. It is a beverage that has held a stark position in their way of life since the countries start. In fact the earliest traces of beer are located in areas controlled by Germanic tribes. Beer is easy to purchase and cheap. Anyone can go and buy a beer for fifty cents off of any street store. Beer is also the keystone of the worldwide famous Oktoberfest. Truly Germany will stand as a haven for all the beer lovers on Earth. Or will it? Recent trends in the beer industry are showing a steady decrease in the beer brewing industry. The fact is German beer is classic, it is the marquee of the good old days, it will never change. But people, the German people in particular are changing.
Statistical data shows that this decline is very real, and is not really going to cease. In the 1960’s there were twice as many breweries as there are today. This is a result of smaller breweries falling to the wayside or being bought out by larger more economically powerful industry leaders. There has been a slump in beer consumption in the past 25 years that has led to major price cutting. In result of this, incentive to produce the golden beverage has been cut to reasons of more cultural nature than profitability. Coupling this loss in profit, is higher production costs due to rises in energy prices and required resources. Germany’s beer association is now warning that “Beer is becoming an outdated product. It seems like the death of beer is inevitable. Still it hard to believe such a thing could possibly occur in a country with such a variety of songs celebrating the many brews.
I think the strongest harbinger of beers end, is a newly thinking youth. So many cultural factors are at the root of this issue that economic issues of production cost seem minute. First off, beer is so common place now in their culture that it has been taken for granted for decades. Like I said you could simply buy a beer off the side of the street. And although you will find many elder folk in areas like Bavaria still cherishing a beer every morning beside their breakfast, young Germans are statistically spending their money on other beverages such as sprits and flavored drinks. And to top it all there has been a serious rise in health awareness against beer.
It’s time to talk about the classic aspect of German beer. It is in fact a law of regulation that German beer have specific qualities that enable it to remain in the same iconic brew. Decades ago brew makers where rich and prosperous, but because of regulations failed to branch out to making flavored beers. This law is called the Reinheitsgebot, or “purity law” and is one of the oldest consumer regulations in existence. While many people worldwide praise the lasting style that German beer holds, it is nearly impossible to obtain German beer in many parts of the world. It is a major loss of potential profit internationally, and part of this is that there isn’t a single recognized German brand.
The beer industry accounts for 1.5% of Europe’s largest economy’s GDP. Needless to say this decrease in profit forecasts critical harm to the German economy in whole. Whether you are a German enthusiast like myself, or a genuine beer lover, you are probably asking if there is any way to rescue the crippled brewing industry. All I can say is where there is a will there is a way. I would be curious to what y’all think Germany can do to salvage this situation. From my research I have compiled a few strategies to this avail. One method is for any one of the many varying brands to accrue a global following. This will allow for an international export and wider availability. Another means is to use the fact that purity is legally guaranteed to increase prices. The issue being of course that Germans are very price sensitive. And as well it is most important for the government to step in and help the industry. Education about beer will ultimately and undoubtedly re-spark interest in the heritage that comes with a fine German brew. The first step to any crisis is admitting you have a crisis on your hands. As I suggested in my last article Germany is changing internationally. It is becoming more involved in world events. With the right influences, it could be swayed into taking a supportive stance of the many businesses and corporations it is responsible for.
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