Sit down in your armchair and grab a can as we bring to you the 10 countries that consume the most beer in 2020 (click to skip ahead and see the top 3 beer consuming countries). Alcohol has been a part of many people’s lives globally throughout history, especially for societal engagements. If you want to learn more about history outside of your books from school, you’ll learn about dozens of wacky alcohol fueled adventures throughout history, because if there’s one thing that has rivaled gold and money throughout history, it’s man’s thirst for alcohol. I’m sure it’s very likely that most of the people have their own alcohol related hijinks that they’re reliving after reading this paragraph.
Of all the types of alcohol, beer is by far the most popular. One of the reasons for that is you can consume a lot more beer than other harder alcohol before getting drunk, and is the choice of drink for most on a normal night to conclude the weekday. In 2018, the total global consumption was over 3 billion 500ml cans. That is absolutely astonishing. Think of it this way; if the Tokyo Dome was capable of filling up 1.24 million KILOliters, you could fill it 152 times just to equal the global consumption of beer.
While the above numbers may be beyond comprehension, it actually gets even more insane. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, and in Islam, alcohol is strictly forbidden in any way. Now even if we assume that 10% of the total Muslims aren’t that religious and don’t mind consuming alcohol, that still leaves over 20% of the entire global population not drinking, and we are still consuming over 3 billion cans!
Another interesting aspect is the fact that many people now prefer low alcohol beer, perhaps because it tastes better or perhaps because it is cheaper than beers with higher alcohol content. These trends are especially prevalent in Europe, which is perhaps the most popular region for beer and alcohol in general. That’s why beer companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (BUD) derive a significant share of their sales from Europe.
To find the countries which consume the most alcohol in the world, we considered not just the total volume consumed (because then countries with the highest population would always top the list), but also the per capita consumption of each country, to arrive at far more accurate rankings, using Kirin’s report. However, the report only mentioned the top 25 – 30 countries for both total consumption, and for per capita consumption, leaving some gaps. To cover the gaps, we gathered information on the populations of each country and if we had total consumption but not per capita consumption, we simply divided total consumption with the population. On the other hand, where we had per capita consumption and not total consumption, we simply multiplied per capita consumption with total consumption. This is why China doesn’t even make our list even though on an overall level, no other country consumes more alcohol. If you’re wondering which companies provide the majority of beer to these countries, you can check out the 11 largest beer companies in the world in 2020. So let’s take a look at the countries where a beer belly is a way of life rather than an anomaly, starting with number 10: