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Top 20 Beer Drinking Countries

Top 20 Beer Drinking Countries

Even in times of global financial downturn, you can be sure of one thing people will continue to buy and consume: beer. It would take more than rising commodity costs and plummeting stocks to quench the hardy revelers of these 20 nations. (Ranked per capita.)
Graphic: CNBC.com

Even in times of global financial downturn, you can be sure of one thing people will continue to buy and consume: beer. It would take more than rising commodity costs and plummeting stocks to quench the hardy revelers of these 20 nations. (Ranked per capita.)

#20 Portugal

Photo: Erik Cleves Kristensen
  • Portugal kicks off the top 20 of the list of largest annual consumption per person with 59.6 liters (according to a Kirin Brewery study).
  • Beer in Portuguese is Cerveja -- derived from the Latin Cerevisia.

#19 Canada

Photo: Tony
  • 68.3 liters per person.
  • Quebec boasts the liveliest and most colorful craft-brewing scene in Canada.
  • The oldest brewery in North America is Molson’s in Montreal. where they have been brewing on-site since 1786.

#18 Poland

Photo: AP
  • 69.1 liters per person.
  • Poland is the maker of the unique grodziskie beer, a top-fermenting smoked wheat beer, which is produced by a single brewery in the town of Grodzisk, near Poznan.

#17 Hungary

The flooded Danube river is seen in front of the Hungarian Parliament building in Budapest, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007. The river is expected to reach its peak level in the Hungarian capital Wednesday. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
Photo: AP
  • 75.3 liters per person.
  • The first commercial brewery in Hungary was established in Buda in 1845 by Peter Schmidt.
  • Hungarians traditionally do not clink their glasses/mugs when drinking beer. This is explained by a legend about Hungarians taking a vow not to do so, claiming that Austrians clinked their beer glasses when celebrating the execution of the 13 Hungarian Martyrs of Arad in 1849. Many people still follow the tradition, although younger people often ignore it, citing the vow was only meant to last 150 years.

#16 New Zealand

Photo: AP
  • 77 liters per person.
  • The two leading breweries in New Zealand, Lion Nathan and DB Breweries, control almost two thirds of volume sales between them.
  • Compared with other countries, New Zealanders are not heavy drinkers. The average New Zealander drinks:
    • 5% less alcohol than the average Australian
    • 12% less alcohol than the average Briton
    • 30% less alcohol than the average German
    • 40% less alcohol than the average Irish

#15 Netherlands

Photo: Gen Gibson
  • 79 liters per person.
  • The Netherlands is known for its pale lagers, especially Heineken and Grolsch, which are exported globally.
  • Grolsch is the leading import lager in the UK.

#14 Croatia

Tourists walk on the city wall that rings the historic town of Dubrovnik, Croatia Aug. 10, 2005. While the number of Americans visiting places like Croatia is still relatively small - 154,000 in 2006 compared to more than 2 million to Italy - growth is strong, up from 115,289 Americans who visited in 2005 and more than 200,000 expected in 2007, according to the Croatian National Tourist Office. AAA's bookings to Croatia increased an astounding 440 percent this year over last. (AP Photo/Mark Lenn
Photo: AP
  • 81.2 liters per person.
  • Croatia is preparing to host Runjanfest, or Septemberfest, its equivalent of Munich's Oktoberfest, from September 24 until September 30 at Lake Bundek

#13 US

Photo: Form Digital
  • 81.6 liters per person.
  • There are more breweries in the U.S. than any other country in the world.
  • Anheuser-Busch consumes about 15% of the entire U.S. rice crop for brewing beer.

#12 Spain

One revelers is tossed scatter before a running Fuente Ymbro ranch fighting bull on the third day of the running of the bulls during the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, northern Spain, Wednesday, July 9, 2008. The fiestas 'Los San Fermines' held since 1591, attracts tens of thousands of foreign visitors each year for nine days of revelry, morning bull-runs and afternoon bullfights. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
Photo: AP
  • 83.8 liters per person.
  • Spaniards often enjoy mass, open-air drinking sessions called Botellons.

#11 Slovakia

The Roland fountain and the Old Town Hall at Hlavni (main) Square in Bratislava, Slovakia, are seen on May 20, 2006. The Old Town district is the city's jewel, with cobblestone squares, narrow, labyrinthine streets and a castle offering sweeping views of the city and the Danube River. (AP Photo/Jan Koller, CTK)
Photo: AP
  • 84.1 liters per person.
  • Slovakia has long been and remains an important producer of barley, the main ingredient in beer. Slovak barley has long been prized for its high starch content - meaning that it tends to create rich, hearty beers.

#10 Luxembourg

  • 84.4 liters per person.
  • Luxembourg is the least populated country in the European Union, with only 465,000 inhabitants. It is also the 20th smallest of all the 194 independent countries in the world.

#9 Finland

Photo: AP
  • 85 liters per person.
  • Finland plays host to the world Mosquito Swatting Championships.

#8 Denmark

Photo: AP
  • 89.9 liters per person.
  • Danish people have been ranked in academic studies as the happiest people in the world.
  • Carlsberg and Tuborg are two of the most famous Danish beer brands.

#7 Belgium

Photo: AP
  • 93 liters per person.
  • Every Belgian beer has its own special glass and that beer (and only that beer) is supposed to be served in it. This applies to bottled beers too.
  • Belgium produces 220,000 tons of chocolate every year. When calculated, per person consumption comes to 22 kg of chocolate annually.

#6 UK

A man lights his pipe in front of a bar at a pub in Hatfield Heath, Essex 30 miles (48kms) east of London, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005. The British government intends to put an unappetizing choice to England's pub managers: ban smoking, or stop serving food. (AP Photo/Sergio Dionisio)
Photo: AP
  • 99 liters per person.
  • There is a seaside village in east Devon, England, called Beer, and a poem that goes along with it:
    Down in Devon, down in Devon,
    There's a village by the sea,
    It's a little piece of heaven
    And the angels call it Beer!

#5 Austria

Overal view of the "Christkindlmarkt", the traditional Christmas market in front of Vienna's city hall, on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005. (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss)
Photo: AP
  • 108.3 liters per person.
  • About half of Austrian men are overweight (50.8%, the highest rate in the EU), but only 20.3% of Austrian women are overweight.

#4 Australia

A bottle of Foster's beer sits on a counter in a Sydney hotel, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007. Brewer and winemaker Foster's Group Ltd. reported Tuesday a 90 percent rise in fiscal first-half net profit to 553.5 million Australian dollars (US$435 million; Euro331 million) from A$291 million a year earlier. Strong beer sales in the Asia-Pacific region were a key factor in the result, but the wine business was "disappointing," the company said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Photo: AP
  • 109.9 liters per person.
  • Apparently the first European settlers in Australia drank more alcohol per person than any other community in the history of mankind.
  • In 1954 Bob Hawke made it into the Guinness Record Book for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds. He then went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia.

#3 Germany

Besucher posieren am Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2006, in einem Festzelt des Oktoberfestes in Muenchen mit Bier. Das 173. Oktoberfest endet am heutigen Dienstagabend. (AP Photo/Christof Stache) --- Young boys pose with beer mugs during the last day of the 173. beer festival Oktoberfest in Munich, southern Germany, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006. (AP Photo/Christof Stache)
Photo: AP
  • 115.8 liters per person.
  • The first Okoberfest actually began as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Luitpold I and Princess Theressa of Bavaria on October 17, 1810. A large meadow in Munich was taken over as the royal reception sire and featured a horse race, music, dancing, singing – and lots and lots of beer drinking.

#2 Ireland

Photo: AP
  • 131.1 liters per person.
  • One traditional Irish cure for a hangover was to be buried up to the neck in moist river sand.
  • The original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 year lease on its property, at a perpetual rate of 45 Irish pounds per year.

#1 Czech Republic

Photo: AP

#1 Czech Republic - Na zdravi!

  • 156.9 liters per person.
  • The Czech Republic has consumed a total of 1,171,326,293 litres of beer so far this year.
  • The Czech Republic was the first country to have a beer museum, as well as the first beer brewing textbook, the first Pilsener and the first Budweiser.