Agri-shift to raise German beer prices

Luckily for beer drinkers, there are about 20,000 different brands in the world. So, if you begin finding the price of your favorite German import creeping up, you'll have an alternative to simply paying more.

What's going on? German brewers likely will raise prices in the next few months because of a shortage of barley.

The shortage is caused by the German government's subsidy of bio fuel for domestic use. One-sixth of German farmland now is used to grow crops that can be used for making bio fuel rather than beer, and that amount is growing by about 5% a year. It's all part of a European Union push to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

"Many brewers have no choice but to raise their prices. They decided not to pass on the 3% rise in value-added tax (VAT) that came into force in Germany on Jan. 1, but in this case they have no alternative," said Kai Schuerholt, German brewers' association spokesman.

Bio fuel’s impact also may be felt in the price of bakery products due to reduced production of grain.

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