Beer consumption exploded in Romania this summer as it rose 23% compared to the summer season last year, the Berarii Romaniei Association has announced. Tap beer reported the highest sales, reaching 8.5% of the total consumption.

Forecasts for 2006 point to a national consumption level of 74 litres per capita, nearing the data from Netherlands (78 litres) and Spain (79%).

“The decision to buy more beer than usual results from the consumption habits of Romanians during the vacation period of July and August. The World Cup has also lured more Romanians to pubs”, says Constantin Bratu, general manager at the Berarii Romaniei Association.

The beer market reached 7.8 million hl in the first six months of the year, up 16% compared to the similar period of 2005.

Europe’s beer champion is the Czech Republic (160 litres/capita), followed by Germany (118 litres), Austria (111 litres), Luxembourg (106 l), Belgium (96 l), Spain (79%) and Netherlands (78 l).