Defying cultural stereotypes of beer-swilling Europeans, Asian’s were crowned the world’s largest beer producing region since annual records began in 1974 by the Kirin Institute of Food and Lifestyle. According to the Japanese beer research institute, Vietnam fuelled the surge in Asian beer production, with an increase of more than 24.3 percent in beer manufacturing over 2009, India followed closely behind with an increase of 12.3 percent, while China’s beer manufacturers also collectively increased seven per cent over the past year. At the same time, European beer companies experienced a production drop of 5.1 percent to 97 billion pints during the same period. Worldwide beer output in the period gained 0.4 percent to 181 million kl, breaking the record for the 25th straight year.
Nonetheless, the report points out that although Asia is now the largest beer producing nation, Europeans still remain the highest beer consumers, leaving an optimistic margin for the Asian beer market to expand.
While some analysts say that the financial crisis affected beer production sales in Europe, others claim that it is the growing popularity of flavourful Asian brews that are gaining worldwide acceptance leading to higher productions. For example, Vietnam’s Hanoi Beer and Saigon Beer were recently chosen to be the official beverages at this year’s Berlin International Beer Festival. India’s kingfisher has also gained global recognition, it being retailed from Shanghai to San Fransisco.