I have a few thoughts on beer that I thought I’d pool together.
I just read that China has overtaken the United Stated as the top consumer of beer. As documented in a paper by the American Association of Wine Economists, the Chinese consumed 31.76 billion liters of beer in 2005 compared to 25.81 billion by Americans. Obviously, there are more people living in China, so the United States still wins the liters per capita battle (86 to 24). U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
What was really interesting about the article was how the authors discovered that beer consumption follows an inverse-U shape relative to income. Apparently, people drink more beer as they make more money up to a point, then beer consumption diminishes. I guess that makes sense–beer made up 90 percent of my alcohol consumption in college, but as I progressed through my career (and saw my salary rise), I find myself drinking more spirits such as bourbon and vodka. Is this true with you, too?
The authors “calculated the turning point, i.e. the point where beer consumption starts declining with growing incomes, to be approximately 22,000 US dollars per capita.”
We can do our part to drink more beer by attending the inaugural Madison Craft Beer Week. You can participate in beer dinners, beer tastings and cocktail classes. I plan on doing several tastings and possibly the Beer History Pub Crawl (I would go to the Oregon Beer Festival but I have a wedding that day).
Speaking of craft beer, I have a honey ale that just needs one more week before it’s ready for consumption. It’s the third beer I’ve brewed.
Finally, tickets for the Great Taste of the Midwest go on sale on Sunday, May 1. If history serves as a guide, you’ll have to get in line by midnight to have a chance.