World's No. 1 Brew: China's Snow Beer

Chinese brand has been the top brew for three years

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 23, 2011 11:32 AM CDT

(Newser) – For the past three years, the biggest-selling beer in the world was a brew you've probably never heard of: China's Snow Beer, reports the Telegraph. And with the Chinese beer market surging by 10% a year, expect Snow to grow even bigger. Though not as well known as Tsingtao, Snow has grown by buying up breweries all over China since it was formed in 1993 in a joint venture between SABMiller and China Resources. Last year, Snow sold 16.5 billion pints, about twice as much as former No. 1 seller Bud Light.

Although very light and bland by the standards of most beer lovers in the West, Snow works well with the Chinese palate. "Chinese still see beer mostly as an accompaniment to a meal," said the head of SABMiller in Asia. "Half of all beer is drunk in restaurants, and with spicy food, they want a less filling and less heavy beer. They prefer low alcohol (typically between 3% and 4%) and a more American taste profile."

Snow Beer is the top-selling beer in the world, moving 2.5 billion gallons last year.
Snow Beer is the top-selling beer in the world, moving 2.5 billion gallons last year.   (SABMiller website)
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