China’s thirst for the golden nectar has finally eased, according to recent statistics on the production of beer.
Want China Times reports that the volume of beer brewed in China dropped 2.76 percent in 2014 to 49 million kilolitres (still enough to fill a staggering 163 billion standard sized bottles).
China’s beer production had been rocketing along for the past two decades, tripling from 1990-2000 and then doubling again in the first decade of the 21st century. While a (lukewarm and low in alcohol) froth is still the preferred poison of most Chinese—commanding a 75 percent share of the alcoholic beverage market in 2014—experts have attributed the downturn in production to the rise of China’s wine industry, as well as general economic slowdown and mild temperatures during last year’s peak season for consumption.
However, others have conjectured as to a correlation between the decline in beer production and Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption, now that the flow of foamy ales has dried up at once notorious boozy banquets and karaoke bars.
Unsurprisingly, China still retains the world’s largest market for beer, with the iconic Qingdao-based company Tsingtao the most valuable brewer—in 2014, it was worth 95 billion RMB (US$15 billion).
Previously in beer-related news, a 2-year-old kid who prefers a brew to (likely tainted) milk created a stir after photos of him chugging beers went viral online.
By Liam Bourke