Our world’s top selling beer, top two actually, are not at all what you may expect. Budweiser may be the king here in America, and Queen Elizabeth I once famously said: “A meal of bread, cheese and beer constitutes the perfect food,” but one would have to keep traveling east to find our globe’s biggest selling ale.
A recent study released by Euromonitor International and Bloomberg last week showed that a beer called Snow is the ace-seller. Behind that is another Chinese brew, called Tsingtao.
“With newfound wealth comes the means for more people to kick back and enjoy a beer every now and then,” writes Bloomberg's Tom Randall. “And so they are. While the U.S. still chugs more beer per person, China already reigns as king of beer when it comes to total consumption. Chinese drink about 110 billion pints a year, roughly twice as much as Americans.”
Familiar brews do make an appearance however on the top ten list. Bud Light and Budweiser are listed at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, sandwiched around an African beer called Skol. Coming in at No. 6 is another Chinese brew called Yanjing. Heineken, Harbin (Chinese... again), Brahma (Brazilian), and Coors Light round out the list.
“More than twice as many pints of Snow were downed last year than Bud Light,” Bloomberg reported. “If your American keg-stand pride is feeling upturned by a third-place ranking, the news gets worse. Budweiser hasn't technically been American beer for some time now. The company that took it over in 2008, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, is based in Belgium. It now owns half of the top 10 beers in the world.”
The Shanghaiist was proud to report that two Chinese beers beat out Americans and their beer bellies, but also ripped on the taste of the beer that came in at No. 1.
Snow Beer? Yeah, we were surprised too considering that Tsing Tao is practically synonymous with beer in China, and Snow Beer is basically what you drink if the former is too classy for you. Let's be honest, it tastes like a bottle of Tsing Tao that's in the middle of being rinsed out with dish soap.
What does it all mean? Not too much. Beer drinkers are quite loyal, and if you’re a Bud man, Coors gal or a Sam Adams snob, chances are you’ll stay that way. But the above top ten does make for some good beer trivia, no?