Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world, having been invented before written language, and is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage on Earth. According to the Oxford Companion to Beer, beer is the third most popular drink in the world—more popular than both wine and even coffee—behind only water and tea.
The countries of Europe consume more beer per person than those on any other continent in the world. The country that tops the list is the Czech Republic, with 181.7 liters consumed per capita in 2020. Beer in the Czech Republic is cheaper than bottled water (typically $1 USD for a half-litre of beer), and the country is the birthplace of the pilsner. Eight other European countries also make the list, including Germany, where many modern brewing processes and beer styles were invented. Moreover, the only non-European country in the top ten, the African country Namibia, can trace its interest in beer to the country’s colonial ties with Germany. The United States ranked 17th in the world in 2020 with 72.8 litres of beer consumption per capita.