Saturday, December 18, 2004


China toasts surging growth with beer, outdrinks US

TOKYO (AFP) - The Chinese are toasting their economic growth with beer as the country for the first time surpassed the United States as the world's top beer guzzler, a global survey by a Japanese brewer said.

Chinese drinkers chugged down nearly 25 billion liters (6.6 billion gallons) in 2003, accounting for 17.3 percent of the world's beer consumption of 144 billion liters.

The United States accounted for 16.5 percent, said the study by Kirin Brewery.

Increasing incomes saw the Chinese drink 6.4 percent more beer in 2003, while US consumptino fell 0.4 percent in 2003 from 2002, the survey said.

"The growing middle class in China was the main factor behind the increasing beer consumption," said Hiroki Umezawa, Kirin spokesman.

"Japanese and foreign beer makers believe the Chinese beer market has a lot of growth potential. As the Chinese economy grows stronger, its beer consumption should rise," he said.

All is not lost though...

However, on a per capita basis, the Chinese were still a long way behind their American peers.

With a population of 1.3 billion people, consumption worked out at 19.7 liters of beer per capita in 2003 compared with 81.6 for each American.

The Czechs kept the title of top beer lovers for the 11th straight year, drowning themselves with an average of 158.9 liters in 2003, followed by the Irish, who drank 135.7 liters, Kirin said.

It is simple. We're all going to need to drink more beer. If we bring our consumption up to Czech levels, we will have nothing to beer. I mean fear.


thehim said...

I can sum up our problem in one word.


If they don't stop bringing down the average, they're out of the union and we annex Tijuana.

Don Snabulus said...

It wouldn't hurt out tequila numbers either.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Drat, those Chinese!
They're catching up with us in both oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, too!

We're DOOMED!!!!! DOOMED, I SAY!!!!!!!!

Hmm...the average Czech drinks almost twice as much beer as the average American, and Prague is considered the center of the artistic world. Coincidence?