Belgians drinking less beer

In fact, beer now lags behind coffee, soft drinks and water

Mar 27, 2002 - Even Belgians, famous for the eclectic beer styles, are drinking less beer than in the past - and instead are turning to coffee, water and soft drinks.


A study by the national statistics office indicates that average beer consumption has dropped by 25% in the last 20 years. The trend follows that in many Western countries, while beer consumption continues to rise in less developed nations. Belgians drank 98 liters of beer apiece in 2001, seventh in the world. The Czechs are first at 158.5 liters per person, following by drinkers in Denmark, Austrian, Luxenbourg, Ireland and Germany.

The study showed that beer was the fourth most popular drink, after soft drinks, water and coffee - with the last being the top seller. A spokesman for the Belgian Brewers' Federation said growing concerns about health - even though another study released this week indicates Belgium is the healthiest country in the world - drunk driving laws were partly to blame for the shift.

Belgian brewers so far have been able to offset declinig domestic consumption by increasing exports.

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