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January 16, 2018

Best Countries to Drink Beer Cheaply

This post will analyze what are the best countries to drink beer cheaply for tourists and residents, so that they enjoy the local varieties of this incomparable drink.

beer prague

As a fan of beer and traveling myself, I often wonder about what would be the best countries to drink beer as a tourist or a resident, accessing a decent variety of drinks at an affordable rate.

After browsing the web for the best countries to drink beer I found a number of lists written by various websites that would claim that this or that country would be the best one to drink beer, but none of them was supported by some sort of analytical data that made sense.

It seemed that they just heard that beer should be good in Belgium or Italy, therefore they should be on that list.

Of course since the point of this post is to determine are the best countries to drink on the cheap, quality should not be the main target, but if you will drink it, it better be good. So I wanted to analyze only countries with good breweries.

The metrics to determine what would be the best countries to drink beer in an inexpensive way should then involve the following factors: what countries produce decent beer, how are the beer prices in the given countries and how the prices related to the income in the given countries.

What Countries Produce Good Beer

To start this statistic I thought that it would be a fair meter of how good the beer in every country by checking domestic per capita consumption. We can assume that if the domestic per capita consumption of beer is high, the beer in this country probably has an acceptable taste to make people keep drinking it.

Here is the data for beer consumption per capita from wikipedia:

CPC = Beer consumption per capita ( liters per year per person )

Country CPC
 Czech Republic 148.6
 Austria 107.8
Germany 106.1
 Estonia 102.4
 Poland 98.5
 Ireland 98.3
 Croatia 85.9
 Canada 85.6
 Venezuela 85.5
Finland 84.2
 Romania 83.2
 Australia 83.1
Panama 82.3
 Slovenia 80.1
 United States 77.1
 Bulgaria 76.8
 Netherlands 75.7
 Russia 74.1
 Belgium 74
Lithuania 72.5

Of course this could lead to mistakes for some countries where there is excellent beer at extremely low rates which are drank by a small percentage of the population, but in general terms, this is a pretty decent reference.

There are other countries which are famous for their beers on this list, you may check it on wikipedia, it’s really worth it.

Beer Prices in Countries with High Beer Consumption

Now that we have the countries which are the heaviest beer drinks identified, we can fetch the data for beer prices from Numbeo.com, a collaborative website that focuses on cost of living worldwide.

I took the figures for 0.5l of domestic beer in each one of the country’s capital cities in USD

It’s important to stress that these prices are to be found when going out in restaurants or bars, not in supermarkets or shops.

Country Price 0,5l Local beer
 Czech Republic 1.33
 Austria 3.5
Germany 3.26
 Estonia 3.26
 Poland 2
 Ireland 5.44
 Croatia 1.99
 Canada 4.27
 Venezuela 2.5
Finland 6.53
 Romania 1.44
 Australia 4.24
Panama 2
 Slovenia 2.72
 United States 6
 Bulgaria 1.11
 Netherlands 5.44
 Russia 1.33
 Belgium 3.26
Lithuania 2.18

After analyzing the table we can conclude that the top 5 best countries to drink beer cheaply and with a good standard of quality are: Bulgaria, Russia, Czech Republic, Romania and Croatia.

So, if you like beer and you like travel, odds are that you will find yourself in a good scenario in the balkans, in the already famous-for-beer Czech Republic and in Russia, but in the latter probably you will have to drink not only beer, but something stronger to interact with the locals.

Best Countries to Drink  Beer Cheaply if you are a Resident

German Beer
German Beer by bolti22 / flickr

If beer is such an important part of your life that you are ready to move to another country just to drink more of it, I crossed the average salary data from wikipedia with the beer prices from numbeo and concluded that in Germany you can buy 721 beers with your average salary, while in Austria you can buy 662 beers; in Czech Republic you can buy 618 beers every month, if you spend all your salary tasting this amazing drink.

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2 Comments

  1. Sorry, but price and consumption doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s true that the Czechs brew many good beers. However, I haven’t found much in Croatia worth writing home about. I would say that Germany, Austria, Czech and the US are all first-tier beer countries. Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Russia are simply second-tier beer countries. IMO.

    • admin

      I agree with you mostly, although the metrics indicate that exactly DE, AT and CZ are good choices, so they aren’t that off. US is too big too compare, there is all kinds of stuff from top quality to trash, but price wise, it could be that a shitty one in US would be probably more expensive than a decent one in CZ.

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