Vietnam plans more beer production as locals keep guzzling

By Toan Dao   September 18, 2016 | 04:00 am PT
Vietnam plans more beer production as locals keep guzzling
People enjoy drinks at an open-air beer bar in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by AFP
The country looks to produce 4.1 billion liters of beer in 2020.

Vietnam aims to produce 4.1 billion liters of beer in 2020, up from 3.4 billion liters in 2015, according to a blueprint on beer, liquor and beverage production until 2025.

Beer output will be raised to 4.6 billion liters in 2025 and 5.5 billion in 2035, according to the blueprint that was recently released by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Production will be increased in regions where beer output remains modest, including the northern region, the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta, the news site of Voice of Vietnam reported Sunday, quoting the blueprint.

The country will mainly focus its liquor production in the Red River Delta and Mekong Delta, along with the southeast of the country.

Liquor output is expected to increase to 350 million liters through 2020-2035.

43.8 percent of the adult population consumes liquor and beer in Vietnam, placing the country on the list of the top 25 countries with the fastest-growing rate of liquor and beer consumption.

Vietnam is currently the biggest consumer of beer in Southeast Asia and the third largest in Asia, after China and Japan, according to AFP.

“Of the total alcohol consumed in Vietnam, 94 percent is beer, so it is really part of the Vietnamese culture,” news channel CNBC quoted Leo Evers, managing director of Vietnam Brewery Limited, as saying.

According to the Vietnam Beverage Association, local drinkers consumed a total of 3.4 billion liters of beer last year, up 10 percent year-on-year but surging around 40 percent from 2010. On average, each Vietnamese person drank 38 liters of beer in 2015, more than four times higher than the global average. 

A study by the Ministry of Health shows that half of drinkers drive after two hours of drinking. The Traffic Safety Committee also said that 40 percent of road-related fatalities, or some 4,000 deaths, were linked to drunk driving in 2015.

Drinking alcohol, including beer and liquor, increases the risk of developing cancers of the mouth, upper throat, voice-box, bowels, liver and breasts (in women), health experts say.

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