No, it’s not Germany, or Britain: an Eastern European country beats out the rest of the world in beer consumption. People in the Czech Republic buy the most beer per capita.
China consumes much more beer than any country, but that’s because of its huge population. Broken down per capita, Chinese people drink less than half as much beer as Belgians, as originally reported by The Telegraph.
The Czech Republic might be at the top, but Eastern Europe as a region saw a dip in beer sales from in 2013, thanks in part to the region’s volatility, and to Russia’s increased taxation, according to an October Euromonitor report.
The UK doesn’t even make the top 10 on the list; Western European countries are seeing a continued decline in the volume of beer (and all alcohol) sold, largely driven by the continued economic woes. The US too saw a dip in 2013, but the report suggests that craft beer might become the industry’s savior.
The Middle East and North Africa are seeing consistent growth in consumption. ”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 the Independent, which also wrote about the data.
Important caveat: the report includes non-alcoholic beer, which is popular in much of the Middle East, especially in countries where alcohol is forbidden.
Update (1:10pm ET): As Telegraph reporter Raziye Akkoc pointed out, this story was first published by The Telegraph, not The Independent. The text has been updated to reflect that.