According to Reuters, Germans are drinking less and less beer year on year. An interesting quote from the Brewery Association Manging Director blames it on demographics. Oh that's alright then, there's nothing we can do about demographics! Let's not worry about it.
My opinion differs though. The simple reason why Germans are drinking less beer is that it's just boring. Don't get me wrong I do like German beer (or at least some of it). Unfiltered German lagers are wonderful, as are the smoked beers of Bamberg, and the rich alcohol infused doppelbocks which I can't get enough of. But other than that it's just pretty boring ordinary lagers.
A lot has been said about the Reinheitsgebot. I won't attempt to write a great ditribe about it. Ron Pattinson does it far better than I can which you can read here. Put simply, for me, it's time the Germans grew up and smelt the coffee. Beer is far more interesting than just malt, hops, yeast and water (and sugar for certain beers). They need to experiment like other brewing nations do. And they need to import more.
The Germans are fiercely proud of their beers, but they need to let go and import beers from the other great brewing nations, and let go of their old traditions. Trouble is they will then realise what they are missing and there will be revolt.
And the last thing we need is revolting Germans!!