Thursday, April 30, 2009

Germany and No Smoking

According to this article in the LA Times, German domestic beer sales are down 6.8% in the first quarter of this year. Exports to other EU member countries are down 12.5%. Exports to all other countries are up over 2%, but only 21% of its total exports go to non-EU countries (I would assume a huge number of that 21% is the US).

How does this mesh with Balto/MD/USA? The brewers are blaming the ban on smoking in the bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants as the main reason for the decline (Germany banned the smoking).

Ever since Maryland considered legislation through the implementation of the legislation, I have been at odds with it. Do I like smelling like smoke after leaving a bar? No (Max's was horrible, IMO). But I always felt that the bar owners should have their choice. Maybe restrict new bars, or liscence transfers, but to make someone who has owned a bar for 30 years change it now. I hated it. Ron at Max's loved the cigars bar, and sold cigars to people who enjoyed them. Even had a happy hour devoted to beer and cigars. I sided with them. If you wanted to go where you weren't around smoke, Red Star was a couple of blocks away, McGovern's was a neighborhood over. I believe Berthas was nonsmoking as well. People had choices, they just didn't want to use them. That was my problem.

Anywho, what do you think about declining sales/smoking ban/any other topic for today?

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