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German beer sales rebound

Aug 15, 2003 - German brewers, battling a seven-year trend of lower beer sales and terrible first half of the year, find themselves with a new problem - beer sales are so robust consumers are worried about shortages.

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"Brewers are working around the clock. Overtime is common, people are working weekends, and breweries are on triple shifts," said Erich Deterichs, managing director of the German Beer Brewers Association.

Becks announced delivery delays and several newspapers have run front-page stories forecasting a beer. Deterichs said Germans should not worry. "Perhaps a person's preferred brand will be sold out, but no one has to fear that beer as a whole will run out in Germany," he said.

Consumption was down 4.4% in the first half of this year, in part because of anew bottle deposit law, but sales jumped 9.3% in June compared with year-earlier levels.

"The weather has skyrocketed overall demand. There is no better alcoholic thirst quencher than beer," said Jochen Schmitt of the Berliner-Schultheiss Brewery in the German capital.


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