German Beer Culture Dying; Will the United States Save It?
|Flickr user Infrogmation|
|The saviors of Oktoberfest?|
Indeed, I had--kind of.
Back in 2005, the German magazine Der Spiegel ran a piece on the same phenomenon, starting off with the exact intro that Slate used: an explanation of the term brauereisterben, the German phrase used to describe the death of the beer industry. It was coined during the mid-1990s, a fact both Slate and Der Spiegel pointed out.
But that's where the articles take different roads: Der Spiegel (which knows a little bit about Germany, given it covers the country) put the blame on a declining population and the younger set's gravitational pull toward other alcoholic drinks (the two articles even mentioned the same alcoholic drink, Bacardi Rigo, as a beverage on the rise), while Slate author Christian DeBenedetti claims its the German beer itself that has suffered a decline in quality, and that American brew-meisters and their microbrewery styles will save German beer culture from itself.
Or maybe I'm just biased on the issue, being I'm a bourbon man-child and all..