Parmy Olson on beer drinking in Germany:
Things will get worse as a new, national smoking ban takes hold across the country. Pub sales should drop by a third this year because of the ban, according to the German Brewers Association.
Why do journalists insist on gullibly regurgitating such obviously false and alarmist statistics? Smoking bans have been enforced everywhere from New York to Newcastle, and nowhere has consumption fallen by anything approaching a third. Many people actually are actually prone to spending more time in pubs if they don’t end up smelling like an ashtray the following morning.
Yes, as Olson documents, there is a long-term secular downtrend in German beer consumption, on the order of one percent or so per year. But the chances of pub consumption plunging by a third in the space of one year are precisely zero.