I'm taking a break from sugar, WW I and British brewing. And taking a look at German beer styles. In particular, their relative popularity over the years.
Hopefully these figures will help lay to rest the myth about European beer being traditional and unchanging. Nothing could be further from the truth. Take a look at the fortunes of Pils and Export in Germany over the last 40 years.
In the 1970's, Export's market share slumped while that of Pils skyrocketed. But after peaking with almost 69% of the market in 2002, Pils now seems to be definitely in decline, being down to just 55% last year. Export, seemingly on the road to oblivion, has rallied a little and is clinging on to around a 10% share.
Weizen has steadily increased in popularity over the last 30 years, but the picture for some other top-fermenting styles is much less rosy. Alt's progress has been a mirror image of Weizen's, declining from 6.6% to 1.4%. Kölsch has done a little better, falling from 4.5% to 1.6%.