Most Of The World's Beer Comes From This Country

The citizens of the world love their beer even as the alcohol market continues to diversify — and the numbers prove it. The amount of beer produced across the world in 2020 was 1.82 billion hectoliters, according to Statista. And even with more competition from hard seltzers and cocktails in a can being sold at stores, bars, and restaurants, beer production increased from 1.3 billion hectoliters in 1998. 

While beer may often be associated with certain European and North American countries, it is enjoyed by people all over the world, from Japan to Brazil and Australia to Norway. In fact, beer is the most drunk alcoholic beverage in the world and is only behind water and tea for overall worldwide consumption (via Statista). And like tea and water, beer has been consumed for millennia. History explains that it's hard to pinpoint a place or time period of origin for beer, but fermented beverages were first made about 12,000 years ago. Artifacts indicate that China may be one of the first places to drink alcohol after a vessel was discovered that had held a blend of rice, honey, and fruit from approximately 7000 B.C.E. 

Beer consumption grows in China

Whether that first alcoholic beverage in ancient China tasted like beer is unknown, but the Asian country is ranked as the top producer of beer in modern times. According to Statista, China made 341.11 million hectoliters of beer in 2020, followed by, in a distant second, the United States with 211.17 million. Brazil (151.9 million hectoliters), Mexico (126.9 million), and Germany (87.027 million) rounded out the top five producers, per Vine Pair

Future projections continue to put China in first place for beer production as its output continues to increase annually by 3% to 5%, according to Vine Pair. The beer that is consumed in China is primarily made by seven companies. Of those companies, World Atlas reports that Tsingtao, Snow, and Yanjing are among the most popular.

Chinese companies are also working with foreign breweries to export their products to new markets (via Vine Pair). According to Marketing To China, Anheuser-Bush InBev, Heineken, Carlsberg, and Molson Coors are all importing to or producing beers in China. Like in the United States, Chinese beer drinkers are falling in love with craft beers as growing wealth among millennials has them seeking higher quality options, and companies like Anheuser-Bush InBev buying small breweries in China to meet that demand.