Vietnam named among world’s top 25 beer guzzlers

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Vietnam was among top 25 beer-consuming nations in the world last year, according to the latest report by the research arm of major Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings Co.

Of the 25 nations listed, consumption rose most significantly in Nigeria, up 17.2 percent, followed by India, of 17 percent, Brazil, 16 percent, and Vietnam, 15 percent.

According to the report, global consumption of beer continues to rise based on demand from emerging markets driving the amount of beer guzzled around the world in 2010 to a new record.

The research estimated last month that 182.69 million kiloliters of beer were consumed in 2010, the most recent year for which it has compiled statistics.

That figure represents an increase of 2.4 percent from the previous year and marked a new record high for the 25th consecutive year. And more beer is expected to be drunk next year.

Kirin said that 182.69 million kiloliters of beer would be sufficient to fill the Tokyo Dome baseball stadium 147 times.

The research indicated that the amount of beer consumed in Europe, North America and Oceania was lower than in the previous year, which it blamed on the downturn following the economic crisis.

That decline was more than offset, however, by increased consumption in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Of all the regions, Asia remained the biggest beer-consuming continent over the year, accounting for 61.41 million kiloliters of the total, an increase of an impressive 5.3 percent. Asia accounted for 33.6 percent of global consumption and was followed by Europe with 27.7 percent and Latin America with 16.2 percent.

North America was next on the list, accounting for 14.5 percent of the total, followed by Africa, with 6.1 percent. The Middle East accounted for around 1.9 percent of the total.

Broken down by country, China remained the largest individual purchaser of beer for the eighth consecutive year. Chinese put away 44.68 million kiloliters of ale over the year, an increase of 5.9 percent and indicative of the nation’s increased wealth and burgeoning middle class.

The United States came in next, with 24.14 million kiloliters, down 1.4 percent. Japan placed seventh on the list with 5.81 million kiloliters, down 2.8 percent on the previous year and a reflection of an aging population and diversifying tastes among consumers, Kirin said.

Japan did take the award for per capita beer consumption in Asia, however, with the average Japanese downing 45.4 liters in 2010. That figure, remarkably, only landed Japan in 38th place in the global per capita rankings