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Originally published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 5:54 AM

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German beer drinking hits post-reunification low

Germans are emptying fewer beer steins these days.

The Associated Press

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FRANKFURT, Germany —

Germans are emptying fewer beer steins these days.

Consumption of the national beverage fell by 1.8 percent last year to the lowest level since West and East Germany reunified in 1990.

The German government statistics agency reported Wednesday that Germans drank 96.5 million hectoliters of beer last year. That's 2.55 billion gallons.

The German brewers' association DBB says an unusually cool summer made fewer people quench their thirst with a cold one.

German beer consumption has been slowly falling for three decades. Reasons include health concerns and growing preference for other beverages such as wine, especially among younger people.

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