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The countries with the most and least beer per capita

Flickr/Quinn Dombrowski
Party on, Panama.
By Deena Shanker
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

If there’s one place in the world where you don’t have to worry about a beer shortage, it’s probably Panama.

With 77.92 kilograms (approximately 21 gallons) of beer available per person per year, Panama wins the prize for the most beer per capita, of the 42 selected countries whose 2013 food availability data was collected by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

So what makes beer so plentiful in Panama? For one thing, several years of strong economic growth means consumers have more disposable income to spend. And a government tax on spirits makes beer all the more desirable as an alternative for thirsty Panamanians, according to research from Canadean Ltd.

But Panamanian beer drinkers don’t have too many choices about the kind of beer they drink: In 2005, London-based beer giant SABMiller bought Bavaria, a Colombian beer, and it now has 66% of the local market. Luckily for local beer snobs, a fledgling craft industry is brewing.

On the low end of beer availability, unsurprisingly, are predominantly Muslim countries like Bangladesh (.01 kg per capita per year) and Pakistan (0.02 kg), as well as Haiti, which in 2013 faced food shortages after Hurricane Sandy.


The photograph above was taken by Quinn Dombrowski and shared under a Creative Commons license on Flickr.

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