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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 83.8 liters per person.
- Spaniards often enjoy mass, open-air drinking sessions called Botellons.
- 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.
- 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.
- 85 liters per person.
- Finland plays host to the world Mosquito Swatting Championships.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 - Na zdravi!
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- 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.