Germans run out of beer!!!

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Germans run out of beer!!!

German drinkers face beer shortage

BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) --
German drinkers could be about to face their worst nightmare -- a beer shortage.

The potential trickle in the supply of the nation's favourite tipple is due to new government regulations restricting deposits of disposable cans and bottles which takes effect in January.

Retailers say it may mean there may not be enough beer in shops.

The government is imposing charges on non-reusable containers because it says the percentage of recycled cans and bottles has fallen below a 72 percent minimum target set in 1997.

"We may not have enough beer available to meet the demand in January," Jan Holzweissig, spokesman for the German retailers' association, told Reuters. "A lot of stores are planning to remove beer and other drinks in disposable containers off their shelves next month because of the new rules."

Shops don't have any room to store the empty cans and bottles, he added.

The government is introducing a deposit of 25 cents in January for small non- refillable cans and bottles, and 50 cents for larger containers.

Deposits will be returned when the bottles and cans are returned.

The measure is designed to counter a growing trend towards non-reusable containers.

Beer fears grip Germany

"Will there be enough beer?" asked Germany's best-selling daily in bold letters on its front page on Thursday.

"Large retailers are planning to stop selling canned drinks altogether. It could mean that beer in returnable bottles will be in short supply."

It is a scary thought for Germans.

Germany is the world's leading producer of beer with some 1,200 breweries nationwide churning out 53 million hectolitres each year.

Germans drink a per capita average of about 123 litres (27 gallons) of beer annually, ranking them only just behind the Czech Republic and Ireland.

Beer is among the most important drinks in Germany, accounting for as much as half of the daily intake of fluids for some people. It is not uncommon for workers to sip an ale during mid-morning breaks or at lunch.

Vending machines often have beer and the drink can be ordered at fast-food restaurants.

The Aldi supermarket chain, a market leader in the discount sector, said they were planning to stop selling non-reusable bottles and cans altogether.

"Until a reasonable solution to this problem is found, we're not going to sell any more drinks in non-returnable cans or bottles," an Aldi spokeswoman said.

Environmental bodies say the measures support their campaign to clear three billion cans and bottles from Germany's streets.
By netchicken: posted on 20-12-2002

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