Beer is an alcoholic drink brewed mostly commonly from malted barley. Beer can also be made from wheat, maize, and rice. Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages in the world, as it is the third most popular drink behind water and tea.
Beer is created when the starch is converted into a sugary liquid called wort, which is then fermented into beer. All beers are either lagers or ales, depending on their type of yeast used in the fermentation process. Lagers are made with yeast that ferments at the bottom of the beer mixture, and ales are made with yeast that ferments at the top. Once a beer is determined to be a lager or ale, it is further categorized by its style.
Beer style is the term used to differentiate and categorize beers based on their color, flavor, strength, ingredients, origin, or production method. Some beer styles are pale ale, dark ale, pilsners, India pale ale (IPA), porter, stout, wheat beer and more.
Europe, in general, consumes the most beer in the world. The country that tops the list is the Czech Republic, with 143.3 liters consumed per capita. Beer in the Czech Republic is cheaper than bottled water (typically $1 USD for a half-liter of beer), and the country is the birthplace of the pilsner. Seven other European countries make the top ten list of per capita beer consumption in the world: Austria, Germany, Poland, Ireland, Romania, Estonia, and Lithuania.
Two African countries make the top ten list: Namibia with 108 liters of beer consumed per capita and Seychelles with 90 liters. Namibia has the second-highest beer consumption in the world, likely due to its colonial ties with Germany. The United States is ranked 21st in the world with 74.8 liters of beer consumption per capita.