Worldwide Production & Consumption Rates of Beer and Wine

Beer and wine are two of the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverages around the world. In 2017 in the United States alone, an estimated 65 billion 12 oz. beers were consumed, along with over 4 billion bottles of wine. How does alcohol consumption in the United States compare to the rest of the world? And what countries produce the most wine and beer? And do higher levels of alcohol production and consumption lead to an increase in alcohol abuse? Our team decided to look into the rates of consumption and production of beer and wine worldwide to determine the top producers and consumers. In addition, we explored whether the presence of high levels of beer and wine correlates with alcohol abuse levels in various countries.

Methodology

In order to analyze where people produce and consume the most beer and wine, our team researched the annual production and consumption levels to determine the world’s top producers and consumers. Next, we compared the production and consumption levels of the top producers to determine whether each produced or consumed more. Lastly, we examined the population level that suffers from Alcohol Use Disorders to see how it compared to the country’s beer and wine consumption levels. The results can be found below.

Beer Production Around the World

Number of beers produced annually by country - Map

China is the largest producer of beer worldwide by far, with an annual production rate of over 112 billion 12 oz. beers. The United States is the second largest producer of beer, but lags behind China by over 50 billion 12 oz. beers. Brazil has the third highest annual production of beer, but their production levels are only 35% of China’s annual production.

Even the lowest producer on the top 25 list, Ukraine and the Philippines, produce over 5 billion 12 oz beers per year.

Number of beers consumed annually by country - Map

Consumption levels seem to generally correlate with production levels for the top beer producers. The top 3 annual beer producers, China, the United States, and Brazil, also topped the list for beer consumption. China consumes an average of over 113 billion bottles of beer per year, while the U.S. consumes only approximately 67.5 billion. Brazil consumes only a little over half of that in a year.

Of the top beer producers, Australia has the lowest overall annual beer consumption at 4.9 billion 12 oz. beers consumed per year, just behind Ukraine with 5.1 billion 12 oz. beers consumed. Italy is also on the lower end of the spectrum, with only 10 million more 12 oz. beers consumed per year than Ukraine.

Comparing Production and Consumption Levels of the Top Beer Producers

Chart comparing production & consumption levels of top beer producers

In spite of having the fourth highest rate of annual beer consumption in the world, Mexico’s production of beer far outpaces their consumption rate. In fact, they produce 2.4 million kiloliters of beer more than they consume every year. In contrast, the United States consumes far more beer than they produce, a whopping 2.18 million more kiloliters per year.

The United Kingdom is the closest to a perfect balance of consuming exactly as much beer as they produce per year, with a surplus of only 100 kiloliters.

The percentage of the population that suffers from Alcohol Use Disorder is generally fairly irregular. However, Russia, a country with one of the higher beer consumption rates, has an average alcoholism rate of 4.68% of the population and the U.S. has a rate of 2.12% of the population.

Wine Production Around the World

Bottles of wine produced annually by country - Map

In a result that surprised no one, the highest volume of wine comes from Italy, with a production of 5.6 billion bottles of wine per year. France was outdone by fewer than 1 billion bottles of wine overall, and Spain isn’t far behind.

Of the top wine producers of the world, Georgia has the lowest annual production rates at only 146 million bottles per year.

Wine Consumption Around the World

Bottles of wine consumed annually by country - Map

The United States is by far the largest consumer of wine at an annual rate of 4.3 billion bottles of wine per year. France and Italy aren’t far behind, but still consume substantially less wine per year than the U.S. overall.

Italy, in particular, has an incredibly low rate of Alcohol Use Disorder in their population at a rate of only 0.48% of the overall population. France’s rate is around triple that, at a rate of 1.49% of the population suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder. The United States, the largest consumer of wine, has a population rate of around 2.12% suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder.

Comparing Production and Consumption Levels of the Top Wine Producers

Chart comparing production & consumption levels of top wine producers

Spain, Italy, and France all produce far more wine than they consume, in spite of their high consumption rates. The United States has one of the highest deficits for wine production vs. consumption, outdone only by Germany. In spite of this ratio, however, Germany has a lower population percentage affected by Alcohol Use Disorder.

While the casual consumption of beer and wine certainly tends to influence the normality of consuming alcohol on a daily basis, the presence of alcohol by country does not seem to have a significant effect on the rate of alcoholism in the community. Alcohol Use Disorder can affect anyone and if you or someone you love are suffering from addiction, you can find more information on how to help here.

SOURCES

CAN I USE THIS INFORMATION?

The information and graphics in this blog post can be used and displayed by all commercial and non-commercial websites without charge. However, use is only permitted with proper attribution to Alcohol.org. When using this information or any of these graphics, please include a backlink to this page.

Fair Use

Feel free to share the images and information on this page freely. When doing so, we ask that you kindly attribute Alcohol.org so your readers may learn more about the study, data, and view any additional assets.