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Asia's beer boom 亚洲的啤酒热

Vocabulary: beer and brewing 词汇:啤酒和酿造

For over 7,000 years, Asians have been brewing beer. But it's only in the past few years that Asia has overtaken Europe and America to become the world's biggest beer-drinking continent.

With an increasingly young and upwardly mobile population, there are signs of a real thirst for ale in Asia. An ice-cold beer is the perfect accompaniment to a few post-work snacks in a bar, and is a very popular way to unwind.


Asia is not renowned for making beer, but more and more of it is being drunk. In 2011, Asians downed 67bn litres of beer; a sign of increasing prosperity on the continent. With alcohol consumption in Asia forecast to grow by 4.8% each year until 2016, brewers have every reason to raise a glass in celebration.

So what's behind this newfound taste for beer? Asia's young and growing population play a big part, but it also stems from the increase in prosperity in a lot of Asian countries in recent years, as people drink beer when times are good. Some experts believe the fizz factor in beer makes people happy and encourages them to drink more, much like with many soft drinks.

One trend is for the exotic and interesting tastes of premium lagers. Young people are no longer drinking weak lagers, but quenching their thirsts with wheat beers, fruit beers, pilsners and pale ales, all with a higher alcohol content. Microbreweries are popping up all over the place, offering consumers the chance to taste something unique and unusual.

The increased popularity of beer also has some drawbacks. Binge drinking, hangovers and alcoholism are on the rise throughout Asia; a real headache for health authorities. However, despite health concerns, the trend of eating, drinking and being merry continues, so drinks manufacturers should be able to toast their successes well into the future.

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