German beer sales slides

Germany's famous breweries again sold less beer last year as people continue to turn to low-alcohol alternatives, the government said Monday. Beer sales fell about 0.5 percent in 2005 to 10.5 billion liters, the Federal Statistics Office said. However, sales of beer mixed with things such as lemonade and cola jumped 15 percent to 300 million liters, or some 3 percent of the total.

Experts say a more health-aware public, high joblessness and a sluggish economy account for years of declining beer sales. Germans have lost the title of biggest per capita beer drinkers to the Czechs.

Though Germany still has hundreds of breweries, changing tastes have put many small beer makers out of business, reports the AP. I.L.

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