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article imageCzech beer drinkers stay on top

By Miroslav Kucera     Feb 11, 2010 in Food
Czechs are known as the top beer drinkers in the world. Despite the economic crisis they stay on the top of world ranking in beer consumption per head.
There are less tourists arriving to Prague who are looking for Czech beer. Czechs are drinking less draught beer but the last data show that they are still the number one beer drinkers in the world. Czechs are now more interested in buying cheaper bottled beer than in the past when the consumption was driven by draught beer, commented Jan Vesely, head of Czech Beer and Malt Association.
Vesely said to AFP: We are certainly the world leaders in consumption per person. This is impossible to change" despite an estimated seven-percent drop in consumption between 2008 and 2009. So even if we fell to 150 litres, we are still far ahead of Ireland, which was second at 133 litres in 2008 and must have posted a drop too.
The final consumption figures will be available later this quarter but according to Vesely it is most probable Czech drinkers will be at the top as they were in last years.
It is evident that beer consumption declined due to rising prices in restaurants and economic recession. The lower number of tourists visiting Czech Republic and mainly Prague is one of the reasons. It is estimated that the foreign tourists drank yearly about 20 to 30 litres per head. The flights between Prague and United Kingdom were booked by young Britons looking forward to enjoy the good and cheap beer in Prague restaurants.
Czech brewer Budvar announced production fell 2.5 percent in 2009. Budejovicky Budvar said that it produced 1.285 million hectoliters (33.4 million gallons) of beer in 2009, compared with 1.312 million hectoliters (33.1 million gallons) in 2008.
Budvar fought with US brewer Anheuser-Busch in several countries to protect the famous Budweiser brand to which both breweries claim a right.
Plzensky Prazdroj, the largest Czech brewery which is part of SABMiller, reported 1.9 percent decline in year 2009. The domestic market fell by 4.5%. Plzensky Prazdroj holds brands as Pilsner Urquell, Gambrinus, Radegast or Velkopopovicky kozel and is the biggest brewery in Czech Republic.
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