Germany: Top Beer Brands Take a Hard Hit in the Market

Beer sales of all German beer brands with sales of over one million hectoliters shrank by around 4% or 3.5 million hectoliters last year. Thus, the market leaders were only marginally better than the overall market, which likely declined by about 4.5% last year.

In the ranking of the most successful beer brands, there were some notable changes compared to the previous year (, 19.1.2023). Most surprising was the plummet of the budget beer brand Oettinger from the second place to the seventh place.

The data were gathered, as every year, by the Munich-based Inside Getränke Verlag, which also publishes this inside-beer newsletter. The research covers the top-selling beer brands in Germany with an output exceeding 1 million hectoliters. The figures are based on the companies' own disclosures, editorial research, and to a lesser extent, estimations.

As in previous years, Krombacher leads the brand ranking. The market leader saw a decrease of 1.3% to 5.68 million hectoliters but managed to widen its lead over the second-place holder, Bitburger. The Eifel-based brand experienced a 1.9% decline to 3.57 million hectoliters.

Also, the third-place holder, Veltins from the Sauerland region, saw a disproportionate decrease of 2.9% this year, selling 3.26 million hectoliters by the end of the year.

Following in fourth place, with a relatively modest loss of 0.8%, is the Munich-based brand Paulaner.

AB InBev's brand Beck's, however, suffered a significant decline of -5.1%, landing it in fifth place. This reflects the consequences of the corporation's focus on a few intgernational core brands, neglecting German beer brands in the process.

In sixth place is Warsteiner, achieving a significant turnaround with +1.1% to reach 2.04 million hectoliters this year.

Conversely, Oettinger plummeted to seventh place with a -11.1% drop, slipping below the 2 million hectoliter mark to 1.98 million hectoliters.

Augustiner, known for its lack of advertising, secured eighth place with a slim increase of 0.2%, surpassing AB InBev's second brand, Hasseröder.

However, Hasseröder, like its sister brand Beck's, suffers from inadequate support from the Belgian parent company, resulting in a 6.9% decrease to 1.56 million hectoliters and a ninth-place ranking.

Erdinger, with the launch of a popular Hell beer last year, managed to offset the general losses of wheat beer in the market, reaching 1.48 million hectoliters with a +1.5% increase, securing the tenth place.

Places 11 to 15 were distributed as follows:

11. Radeberger (-3.8%), 1.39 million hectoliters
12. Ur-Krostitzer (+7.8%), 1.33 million hectoliters
Mönchshof (+1.5%), 1.26 million hectoliters
14. Jever (-4.0%), 1.20 million hectoliters
15. Franziskaner (-12.0%), 1.04 million hectoliters

It's important to note that only quantities sold under the brand name are considered in this ranking. Therefore, the ranking only provides limited insights into the hierarchy of the largest breweries in Germany, as private label brands are not accounted for in this list. Conversely, brewery groups can have multiple brands represented in the list, such as AB InBev Deutschland with Beck's, Hasseröder, and Franziskaner, the Schörghuber Group / Heineken with Paulaner and Mönchshof, or the Radeberger Group with Radeberger, Ur-Krostitzer, and Jever.

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