Oktoberfest comes early for Munich brewer as sales jump

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Paulaner Brauerei, the Munich brewery started by monks in 1634, is basking in Germany’s World Cup success as fans cheering the national team to the July 13 final drive beer sales to record highs.

Revenue last month trumped sales generated in the same month in 2006, when Germany hosted the World Cup, chief executive Roland Tobias said yesterday.

Paulaner sold 9 percent more beer last month compared with eight years ago, the company said, declining to provide exact volumes.

“So far the summer is really, really good for our business and we expect to continue,” Tobias said. “If Germany wins, there will be an unbelievable party.”

Germany, which has won soccer’s biggest contest three times, trounced hosts Brazil 7-1 in Tuesday’s semi-final in Belo Horizonte to secure a chance at lifting its first World Cup trophy since 1990.

The rout ended a run of 63 competitive matches at home without a defeat for Brazil, going back to 1975. The victory “almost earns the designation historic”, Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin yesterday.

Tobias said the five-hour time difference between Rio de Janeiro and Munich meant all the games were broadcast in the evening in Germany, which had helped increase sales. “People go out because they want to have fun and have a party, even those who aren’t football fans. That’s easier when the game’s in the evening.”

Tuesday’s match was the most-discussed sports game on Twitter’s social network, with 35.6 million tweets during the 90 minutes, according to the San Francisco company. German midfielder Sami Khedira’s strike to make it 5-0 after only 29 minutes also set a record for tweets per minute, at 580 166.

The game broke broadcasting records to become the most-viewed television event in Germany’s history, according to broadcaster ZDF. A total of 32.6 million people tuned in for the semi-final for a market share of 87.8 percent, ZDF said.

An estimated additional 10 million people watched the game online and at public viewing events across the country. The previous record was also spurred by coach Joachim Loew’s national team. More than 31 million people watched Germany’s 1-0 defeat against Spain in the semi-final of the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa.

Paulaner is a sponsor of FC Bayern Munich, the Munich-based club that supplied seven players in the national side and a total of 14 athletes in the World Cup tournament. It is one of six breweries licensed to sell its products at the annual Oktoberfest, the Munich beer festival that attracts about 6 million visitors every year.

Paulaner, through investor Brau, is part-owned by Schoerghuber and Heineken. It also owns the Hacker-Pschorr, Thurn & Taxis and Auerbraeu brands. – Bloomberg

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