Germany has long been regarded as a beer country, but that image is slipping badly.
Domestic sales last year dropped to their lowest level since 1989, according to official statistics published Thursday.
Sales of German beer dropped to just under 2.2 billion gallons in 2009, a fall of 2.8% from the prior year.
Overall, the German economy, regarded as Europe's strongest, contracted by 5% in 2009, its worst since the end of World War II.
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