Bar Chart

So, who drinks the most beer? Well, in absolute terms the answer is perhaps a no-brainer: China, with its 1.3 billion residents, consumed over 300 million hectoliters (=30 billion liters) of the sudsy stuff in 2005. The US came second with 230 million hectoliters, and Germany came third with (only) about 90 million hectoliters.

What is more illuminating, however, is what the country rankings were for beer consumption per capita. Taking the data above and comparing them with CIA World Factbook population estimates for the top three countries, one finds that the rankings change to:

  1. Germany (≈112 liters per person)
  2. US (≈78 liters per person)
  3. China: (≈23 liters per person)

To Germany I say, "Bottoms up!"