Chinese are champion beer drinkers

The world's appetite for beer hit a new high last year, with China leading the way.

A report by the research arm of a major Japanese brewery said it was the 27th consecutive year that beer production marked an increase. It attributed the rise to robust demand in Asia and developing countries.

The report commissioned by Kirin Holdings said 50.9 billion gallons of beer were produced last year, up 3.7% from 2010. China was the world's largest beer producer - accounting for about 25% - for the 10th straight year.