NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Beer drinkers in the U.S. may throw back enough suds to hold their own at a kegger, but they're lightweights compared with their international beer buddies.
Americans put down 19.97 gallons of beer per capita last year, according to
Euromonitor International. That's more than a 15.5-gallon keg apiece, or nearly four of their buddy's five-gallon homebrew kegs. It's also down 7% from 2006 and almost half of what the top beer-drinking nation in the world quaffed last year.
Czechs drink more than two full U.S. kegs of beer and nearly double the amount of beer enjoyed by their U.S. counterparts.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) and MolsonCoors (TAP) have seen their U.S. sales slide in recent years. Meanwhile, advances by imported beers from Diageo (DEO) and Constellation Brands (STZ) and craft beers from brewers such as Samuel Adams maker Boston Beer (SAM) haven't brought drinkers back to the taps just yet. With help from Euromonitor, we found the top beer-drinking nations in the world and took a look at just what it would take for America to make it to last call with those countries:
10th-drunkest country: Bulgaria
Gallons of beer per person: 20.34
It's been more than 160 years since Hungarian exiles first brought beer to Bulgaria and just a little less since Czechs, Germans and Austrians lent some of their flavor to it. It's been a big beer party since, with heavy hitters including InBev, Heineken and Carlsberg pumping out barrels of great Bulgarian brews such as Kamenitza, Zagorka and Pirinsko Pivo. Considering much of that beer boom has occurred within the past 20 years or so, that's a pretty impressive display of tolerance for a country with a population smaller than New York City's.
Gallons of beer per person: 21.08
Romanians have a long, storied beer history tied to strong German and Polish influences and steeped in pilsener. The Timisoreana brand stretches back nearly three centuries, while brews such as Ursus and Stejar have turned their Romanian roots into big returns for SABMiller. Eighth-drunkest country: Lithuania
Gallons of beer per person: 24.36
The former Soviet republic not only drinks a lot of beer, but makes a whole lot of it in house. The Kalnapilis brewery, for example, has been making German-style Helles, Dortmunder and Pilsner since 1902. Svyturys, meanwhile, has been brewing since 1784 and still makes award-winning Dortmunder and Marzen styles. Seventh-drunkest country: Poland
Gallons of beer per person: 24.75
We're actually shocked this isn't number isn't higher. That's partially because the Polish have been brewing for centuries, but mostly because brands including Zyweic and Okocim are relatively prevalent in Polish and Russian communities here in the U.S. The SABMiller-owned Tyskie brewery alone has been cranking out lager for nearly 400 years, while Poles have been enjoying porters and bocks longer than most craft beer drinkers have known what those styles are.
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