China drinks the most beer in the world - but which European country comes out top?

Czech Republic and Germany drink the most beer per head

Although UK sales of beer have declined over the years while China drinks the most, European countries still fly the flag for the most beer drunk in the world per person.

The Czech Republic, famous for brands such as Pilsner Urquell and Budvar, has the highest amount of beer drunk in the world per head at 143 litres, with 1.5bn litres as a nationwide total.

Germany, known for the annual Oktoberfest beer festival that saw 6.4m litres of beer drank by 6.3m visitors from all over the globe last month, doesn't follow far behind with an estimated 110 litres downed per person.

China supped the most beer in total with 54bn litres, however this only works out to 40 litres per person when factoring in the country's extremely high population rate of approximately 1.35bn.

 

The UK drank 4.3bn litres of beer - 67 litres per capita - and the low number is down to British people opting for more expensive drinks such as spirits, said Euromonitor International senior analyst Spiros Malandrakis as reported by The Telegraph.

Seven out of the 10 nations with the most rapid beer sale growth were Muslim-majority countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Iran, according to figures from Euromonitor.

Mr Malandrakis said the growth is driven by non-alcoholic beers in some countries such as Iran, and rising numbers could also be attributed to rising numbers of expats living in the Middle East.

In the UK, the market for beer looks bleak with lager, beer, dark beer and standard lager all seeing volume fall over the last three years. Only mixed and flavoured beers, such as those with fruit juices, have seen sales rise.

Cider, which has seen a growth in popularity in the UK and US, is not counted in the figures as the fermented apple beverage does not count as beer.

 

"It's been [declining in the UK] for a while as consumers get older and the core demographic - the working class - is struggling," said Mr Malandrakis.

"On top of that, you have consumers slowly moving into spirits, especially younger consumers."

"A key factor [to explain the decline] in the UK and US is the growth of craft beers - which are not included here and their definition has yet to be decided [officially], though it is small scale production of beer," Mr Malandrakis added.

Top 10: Countries listed in order of highest beer consumption per head (total in brackets)

1. Czech Republic: 143 litres (1.5bn litres)

2. Germany: 110 litres (8.9bn litres)

3. Austria: 108 litres (920m litres)

4. Estonia: 104 litres (135m litres)

5. Poland: 100 litres (3.8bn litres)

6. Ireland: 93 litres (430m litres)

7. Romania: 90 litres (1.8bn litres)

8. Lithuania: 89 litres (260m litres)

9. Croatia: 82 litres (346 litres)

10. Belgium: 81 litres (900m litres)

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