Beer consumption in Germany has hit its lowest level for 15 years, according to recent statistics.

A report from the German government, released yesterday (29 January), shows that beer sales in the country hit their lowest point since records began for the reunified Germany in 1993. Sales in 2007 fell by 2.7% on 2006, totalling 22bn pints, the report said.

Speaking to just-drinks today, a spokesperson for the German Brewers Association (DBB) said that, as the German population gets older and smaller, consumption of beer in the country struggled last year. "It's a demographic factor," the spokesperson said. "The population is getting older and it is also decreasing. The older generations prefer to drink less generally, while younger Germans can now afford other drinks, including cocktails and spirits with mixers."

The spokesperson also said that the weather in Germany last year played a decisive part. "In 2007, the weather in Germany was lousy, while in 2006, we had two or three months of excellent weather, coupled with the football World Cup."

The spokesperson remained optimistic about the prospects for Germany's brewers going forward. "We hope that, together with the European football tournament in Austria and Switzerland, this year the weather will be better," the spokesperson concluded.