Look What Happened To The German Water Supply During The World Cup Match With Brazil

Berliner Wasserbetriebe — Berlin’s water supply company — has produced this “flush analysis” chart of what Germans were doing last night during that country’s epic 7-1 victory over Brazil in the World Cup.

Turns out they were drinking, holding it, rushing to the bathroom at half time, and then again at full time:

The chart measures cubic meters used per hour, with a half-time “flush spike” at 30,000 within the city of Berlin. Note that the spike occurs at 11.30 p.m. at night, and then again just after midnight when the match was finally over. There were two more flush spikes before Germany went to bed, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

There is a real — and really horrifying — business use for this information. German breweries are desperate for the national team to do well, according to Bloomberg. Despite the stereotype, Germans have cut back their consumption of beer dramatically over the years. In 1976, Germans drank 300 litres per year. Now they only consume 106 litres. So brewers like Paulaner “need good summer weather and they need the German national team to go deep into the tournament,” Bloomberg says, in order to boost beer consumption. Some German brewers report sales increases of 1 million litres per day around games, the German Brewers’ Association told Bloomberg.

One way to estimate demand for beer is to have good historic numbers on beer outflow during peak usage, so to speak. Consumption and outflow are highly variable. Germany’s game against France on July 4 — which was much less important than the Brazil semifinal — saw a much higher set of flush spikes:

One possible reason: The game was earlier in the evening, ending at 9 p.m. So German breweries may also need primetime kickoffs, in addition to goals.

We saw this first on FT Alphaville.

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