Of the many countries in the world, the ones most known for producing –and drinking beer in its many variations—include Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Ireland, England, Australia and of course, the United States.
While beer is not solely a Western invention -the East countries except the Muslim region have their own versions, although consumption is mostly confined to their borders – you will think that a European or American beer will be the best selling beer in the world.
If you do, you’ve got another think coming: the number one largest selling beer today is “Snow”, in China.
Brewed by China Resources Snow Breweries since 1994 in Liaoning Province, Snow sold 5.12 billion liters in 2008, and 5.1 billion in the first nine months of 2009. With an estimated annual growth trend of about 20%, Snow is expected to have overhaul ed by today the largest-selling beer in terms of volume consumed – Bud Light.
Snow’s export future is considered still dim, however, what with the country’s extremely huge domestic market potential of 1.3 billion people and the beer’s ‘unimpressive and very drinkable’ character, according to Beeradvocate, the beer magazine monthly.
CR Snow Breweries is a joint venture between China Resources and SABMiller of the United Kingdom.
In essence, the top five largest-selling beers in the world in hectoliters for the year 2008, are as follows according to Plato Logic:
Snow beer. About 61.0 million. Sales is believed to be almost all-domestic.
Bud Light, 55.6 million hectoliters (hl) or 47.38 million barrels. Up from about 39 million barrels in 2005. Bud Light is America’s best selling beer since 2001, with about 16% total market share, and only sold internationally in appreciative quantities in Sweden, Ireland, Colombia, Canada and Mexico.
Budweiser, 43.4 million hl, or 36.98 million barrels. It ranks second to its lighter brother in the US along with Miller Lite, Corona Extra and Coors Lite.
Skol (Brazil), 35.4 million hl; 30.16 million barrels. Few people expect Brazil to be a beer-drinking country, but its 200 million population consumes millions of barrels annually. Skol dominates the local market, Brahma sharing 20% and Antarctica 14%.
Corona, 32.7 million hl; 27.86 million barrels. This is Mexico’s top beer, with Tecate and Dos Equis second and third. Tecate Light touts itself, however, as the local best selling light beer. Corona is also sold in the United States and 150 other countries.
Heineken, 29.1million hl; 24.79 million barrels. This Dutch beer that began in 1873 is often carried alone by many beerhalls in the country, pumped from trucks insted of unloaded from heavy barrels. The Pilsner is also sold abroad, often competing favorably agains t local brands, and Heineken is also brewed in 39 countries aside from the Netherlands.
There are naturally other beer brands that sell large in their own turf such Labatt Blue in Canada, Guinness in Ireland and UK, Carlsberg in Denmark and Stella Artois in Belgium to name some, and many drinkers would swear by them as the ‘best beer’.
In a way, they are right: It is a matter of taste, really.