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Bylines and Beer Confront G8 Journalists


While leaders from the eight industrialized nations meet behind closed doors -- journalists wait for a headline or a photo-op to send home to their editors. But at a media event of this scale -- with 5,000 journalists from around the world -- there are plenty of other "media" events to draw their attention. Especially if the press conference is serving up Germany's most popular drink. VOA's Rebeeca Ward has more.

Beer consumption in Germany adds up to more than 111 liters per person per year. That is about 92 million hecto-liters of beer every 365 days according to Germany's federal statistical office. But here at the International Media Center, the local biergarten is serving up just a bit less than that.

According to the bartender, about 750 glasses in the past few days. Of that, the bartender has enjoyed his share. “Fifty two,” he says in German.

The beer is free, but there's a slight catch. You may feel obligated to sit in on one of the press conferences.

Thomas Heath is an engineer for WaveGen, a subsidiary of Siemans. His topic -- creating electricity from waves at a power plant on the Scottish coast. An appropriate subject for this particular G8 summit and its emphasis on climate change.

But, he has got to wonder, did they come for the talk -- or for the beer.

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