Cold countries drink more beer

It’s counter-intuitive, but cold countries tend to drink more beer than hot ones. Amongst the top twenty per capita beer-drinking countries, only Australia (fourth at 109.9 litres a head), Spain (twelfth at 83.8 litres) and Portugal (twentieth at 59.6 litres) could be called warm.

True, the USA, slurping down 81.6 litres per head each year, rates thirteenth. But, in fact, its drinking prowess draws largely from the cooler states. According to beerinfo.com ‘as a rule of thumb, the colder the state, the more beer consumption.

In Europe, at least, as we run down the list – starting at the Czech Republic (156.9 litres) – a long brewing history, probably based on a climate suited to barley but not grape growing – points to the origin of the beer habit.

It’ll be interesting to see if, with growing affluence in future generations, red wine chips away at beer in these frosty climes.

Copyright © Chris Shanahan 2007

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