China is known for its notoriously cheap beers, though considering it’s custom to pound 67 of them during dinner, who can blame them? And the reigning champion of cheap suds in China, Guangzhou, also happens to have the cheapest beer in the world, according to a recent survey by Quartz.
As you can see in the chart above, some Guangzhou draughts cost as little as $0.36 or little over 2RMB, beating out beers from Manila, Philippines, and Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. It’s ironic since some Guangzhou dishes rank amongst the most expensive on the planet. A can of Pearl River Lager with your bird’s nest and abalone soup, anyone?
Interestingly, China doesn’t even place in the top five countries with the cheapest beer on the planet according to a crowd-sourced survey by The Thrillist.
No Chinese cities made it onto Quartz’s list of the cities with the most expensive beer in the world, of which the top three are Tripoli in Libya, Bergen in Norway, and Stavanger, Norway. This may change, however, as multinational beer giants like SABMiller and Budweiser push Chinese consumers to switch from the local brew to their brands, and more and more craft breweries and boutiques sprout up.
Belgian Trappist Ales are already starting to make inroads, ECNS reports:
Although Belgium makes some of the finest beers in the world, sales across most of Europe have remained lukewarm in the past few years because of the continuing financial crisis. Sales, however, from Belgium to China, which started more as a test-marketing venture, have instead blossomed into a big business.
By 2012, the size of the beer market in China had grown to more than 47.5 billion liters, making it the largest beer-drinking market in the world. Now, more Chinese have started developing a taste for the small-scale craft beers and Trappist ales, made by monks, from Belgium.
So like with wine, the Chinese beer scene – both producers and consumers – looks to gain more and more legitimacy in the years to come.
[Graph credit: Quartz]
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].